WEED ALERT: Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)

TSA originates from South America, this shrub has golf ball sized fruit that have a watermelon pattern when immature and turn bright yellow when ripe. The plant has thorny leaves and stems and grows up to two metres in height. TSA was first discovered in 1987 in the USA. It spread rapidly to cover 10,000ha in three years and in 10 years has infested half a million hectares. By 2007, it covered nine states of south-eastern USA. 

 

The foliage and stems of TSA are unpalatable, but the yellow fruit are highly prized by livestock which makes them a major vector for its spread. Other means of spread may be by machinery, silage, hay and feral/native animals.

All land owners and managers must be aware and vigilant of this Class 1 Noxious Weed species. Best practice is the prevention of its establishment; this is possible through the holding of incoming or outgoing stock in a clean paddock where they have no access to TSA fruits for at least 7 days and any out breaks can be managed. Common areas for TSA to appear are in stock yards, around watering/feed troughs, stock camps and even road sides of common.  Any known plants should be eradicated before they set seed and if seed is found it should be burnt or buried over 600mm deep. The most common methods for control are hand pull seedlings, cut/paint mature bushes with Vigilant Gel or for widespread infestations spray with Grazon Extra. In the undertaking of any of these methods the collection and proper disposal of fruit must occur.

TSA is currently located in various locations throughout the North Coast region including the Macleay, Ballinger, Coffs and Clarence Valleys, to avoid any chance of it spreading further into the Nambucca Shire, it is important that any outbreaks be reported to the Nambucca Shire Council, so they can be mapped, eradicated and monitored.

Currently TSA and other highly invasive weed species are a focus of planned regional and urban property inspections throughout the Nambucca valley which are aimed at early detection to aid eradication and education on control techniques/assistance.

For more information on this highly invasive weed species and any other inquiries about weed identification please visit the North Coast LLS website (options for anonymous reporting of weeds), or download the Weed Wise App from NSW Department of Primary Industries or alternatively contact:

Keegan Noble
Nambucca Shire Council
Ph: 0417 484 906 or
Email keegan.noble@nambucca.nsw.gov.au.


Weeds


WEED ALERT: Cat's Claw Creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati)

Cat’s claw creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati) a native to Central and South America was introduced to Australia as a garden plant, and has escaped to become a major weed of native forests and riparian areas in eastern Australia.