Keen-eyed Eukey landholder detects invasive weed

The highly invasive weed tropical soda apple has recently been discovered at Eukey.
The highly invasive weed tropical soda apple has recently been discovered at Eukey. Contributed

GRANITE Belt property owners are urged to keep an eye out for a highly invasive weed sighted in the local area.

Native to South America, tropical soda apple (TSA) was recently discovered by a keen-eyed Eukey landowner and reported to the council.

The samples were submitted to the Queensland Herbarium, which confirmed them to be TSA, a weed that has only been found in a handful of locations across Queensland.

The council and Biosecurity Queensland are currently working with the landowner to control and contain the weed.

Southern Downs Regional Council environmental services manager Tim O'Brien said the Eukey resident might have prevented an outbreak.

"Had this landholder not noticed or reported these plants on their property, it could have gone undetected which may have allowed the tropical soda apple to spread and become established in the area," he said.

Mr O'Brien said while TSA did not pose a threat to stock or wildlife, the plant was dangerous to the environment.

"It has the ability to invade natural areas and displace native species."

The weed is an upright shrub, two metres in height with many branches scattered with prickles.

The plant has white flowers and produces yellow, golf ball-size fruit.

Landholders who believe they have sighted tropical soda apple should phone Southern Downs Regional Council on 4661 0300.

Mr O'Brien advised residents not to take matters into their own hands.

"Landholders should contact the council in the first instance so we can get the Herbarium to make a positive ID," he said.

"There is a native species that looks very similar and may be easily mistaken."

Topics:  biosecurity, invasive weeds, tropical soda apple, weeds



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