Public asked to report sightings of giant devils fig plants
FOLLOWING a report by a member of staff, Coffs Harbour City Council officers discovered some giant devils fig plants growing along a roadside near Coffs Harbour last week.
Numerous plants, found in two separate locations and ranging in size from very small seedlings to very large plants, were removed immediately.
Giant devils fig is a native of Central America and was introduced to the Far North Coast of New South Wales around 35 years ago. It has been spread extensively by birds and bats to become one of the most serious weed threats on the north coast.
Coffs Harbour City Council senior weeds inspector Alan Wray said it was the first detection of the plant ever recorded in Coffs Harbour.
"We are seeking the assistance of community members to play their part in protecting the rich biodiversity of the region," Mr Wray said.
"The seriousness of the threat to our bushland cannot be overstated. We share a similar climate to the other locations in the world where this plant has devastated the natural environment.
"Due to the size of the plants, we know there will be more in the area and we need the assistance of our community to find them"
Giant devils fig is a tall perennial woody shrub, 3-4m high. It has thorns similar to a rose plant and long, distinct rust-coloured hairy stems and petioles. It has broad ovate lobed leaves that finish in a distinct point. The leaves are hairy on the underside. The fruit is similar to wild tobacco and is spread via birds and bats.
Anyone who sees a giant devils fig plant is encouraged to phone the council on 6648 4880. Alternatively, report the weed via http://www.looklearnact.com.