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Miconia

Alert

Have you seen Miconia?

Be on the lookout for Miconia and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling Miconia.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to tropical America, miconia is a small tree with large leaves. Queensland has 3 species of miconia, all of which pose a significant threat to local rainforests. Miconia calvescens has also been found at nurseries in northern New South Wales.

Miconia is targeted for eradication in Queensland.

Miconia is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Miconia calvescens, M. cionotricha, M. racemosa, M. nervosa

Other names

  • Velvet tree, bush currant, purple plague

Description

  • Small tree up to 15m tall.
  • Leaves are large, opposite, generally 17-70cm long (but sometimes up to 1m), 7-25cm wide, with 3 prominent veins and distinctive purple underside.
  • Flowers are white or pinkish, 2-3mm long, 1-2mm wide, with 5 petals.
  • Fruits are small and black when young, purplish and 6-7mm across when mature, arranged in large clusters containing many seeds.

Habitat

  • Prefers forested country, particularly in disturbed areas and along creek lines.
  • Also found in open country and domestic gardens.

Distribution

  • Found in Far North Queensland and South East Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Fruiting can occur at any time of year, but depends on sufficient sunlight reaching mature plant.

Affected animals

  • Native animals

Impacts

Environmental

  • Invades rainforest areas, competes with native plant species and affects habitat of native fauna.
  • Causes hillside instability and erosion due to shallow root system.

How it is spread

  • Spread by birds, vehicles, machinery, footwear and animals.

Control

  • Miconia is the target of a national eradication program.
  • New infestations must:
    • be reported to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23
    • be identified and removed by approved officers
    • have their locations recorded prior to removal.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Miconia is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. The Act requires that all sightings of limnocharis plants must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours of being found. By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of spread of limnocharis until they receive advice from an authorised officer. It must not be kept, moved, given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
  • At a local level, each local government must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in its area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information