Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is urgently calling residents to inspect their properties for high priority weed Chinese Violet.
Chinese Violet is a rapidly growing and hardy creeper that has the potential to invade many coastal and sub-coastal areas.
The Council says the weed can have drastic impacts on the environment and agricultural industries as it grows rapidly and smothers other vegetation, reduces biodiversity and destroys the habitat of native wildlife.
It has recently been found for the first time in the region on a riverbank in Beechwood.
"Chinese Violet is commonly found in coastal sandy soils, however locally it has been unusually found on a riverbank in a shady area, and we have taken immediate action to stop its spread," said Environmental Services Group Manager of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Maria Doherty.
"The weed is under a NSW Control Order which means Council is focused on eradication, and we're asking everyone to check their properties, particularly gardens, for any sign of the weed and if found to report it to Council immediately."
What is Chinese Violet?
- a creeping plant with opposite leaves and lightly hairy stems, growing up to 1m tall
- leaves are paler beneath, oval to triangular in shape
- forms sprawling mats and can clamber over adjacent vegetation
- stems can root at the nodes in moist soil
- white bell-shaped flowers 2-2.4cm long with distinct purple blotches in two parralel lines
- fruit capsules 3cm long and guitar-shaped
Chinese Violet is spread by seed and plant fragments, and can flower and fruit year round.
The seeds are dispersed explosively from the drying fruit capsules, and after most of the ripe capsules have released their seeds, the plant dies back to ground level.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is advising residents not to remove the Chinese Violet on their own, as regular control methods may disperse the weed over a larger area.
For more information, to report an infestation of Chinese Violet or to receive a free inspection and weed control assistance call Council's Weed Team on 6581 8111.