Posted December 12, 2015 15:08:01

A woman in a yellow shirt examines leaves on a small plant inside a translucent plastic domed greenhouse. Photo: Naomi Edwards appears for jewel beetles in a breeding greenhouse at Nerang. (ABC News: Tom Forbes)

Catchment authorities are calling on folks to continue their fight against the introduced cat’s claw creeper, which is at present flowering in south-east Queensland.

Cat’s claw boasts bright yellow flowers and was imported from South America in the 1950s as an ornamental plant.

Initially common in Brisbane, the creeper has escaped domestic garden beds and spread into bushland from Gympie to the Gold Coast and as far west as Texas in the southern border region.

Naomi Edwards from the Gold Coast Catchment Association said the weed was thriving.

“It just loves our climate in south-east Queensland and it is spread amongst all of our waterways,” she said.

Cat’s claw is a declared pest since it strangles native vegetation.

yellow flower of blooming Cat's Claw creeper Photo: The flowering cat’s claw was when regarded as an desirable garden ornament. (Source: SEQ Catchments)

Ms Edwards said the weed was controlled by chemical sprays or manual removal.

“It really is genuinely essential for individuals to get active around this declared pest plant due to the fact it causes lots of impacts,” she mentioned.

There is also a biological handle against the plant being utilised on the Gold Coast.

The South American leaf-mining jewel beetle was introduced in 2012.

The tiny beetle and its larvae feed on the creeper’s leaves.

The black insect is bred at a Nerang nursery, then placed in bushland overrun with cat’s claw.

Ms Edwards stated jewel beetles did not target native plants.

“There has been some concern but it really is a large program, there is lots of science behind it and it has been a confirmed bio-manage agent,” she mentioned.

Anyone who thinks they have cat’s claw on their property is urged to contact their neighborhood council.

Struggling native bushland overrun by Cat's Claw at Nerang on the Gold Coast. Photo: Struggling native bushland overrun by cat’s claw at Nerang on the Gold Coast. (ABC News: Tom Forbes)

Topics: pests, atmosphere, qld

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