Environmental Weeds

The environmental weeds listed on these pages are either present on the Atherton Tablelands or have the potential to grow in this area or they are a particular problem for revegetation in general or to Mabi forest in particular.

Some of the following species are a particular problem for revegetation because they can halt or change the direction of succession.


Anredera cordifolia - Madeira Vine, Lamb's Tail - Declared class 3

Anredera cordifolia

Family: Basellaceae.

Form: Vine

Origin: Native to South America.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: Fragrant, white, in drooping spikes. Flowers mostly summer to autumn outside tropics.

Description: Fleshy, sometimes woody, climber with stems extending for 20 m or more. Leaves usually fleshy, ovate, to about 6 cm long. Single seed per fruit.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by climbing habit, aerial and root tubers and masses of fragrant flowers in drooping spikes.

Dispersal: Seed, tubers and spreading root system. Spread by water down watercourses.

Local notes: not common on the Atherton Tablelands but difficult to control where it does occur.

Control - hand remove smaller plants and any loose tubers, scrape stems and paint with herbicide.


Ardisia elliptica - Ardisia, Shoe-button Ardisia

Ardisia elliptica

Family Myrsinaceae

Origin: Native of Asia and Malesia from Japan (Ryuku Islands) to New Guinea and across to southern India.

Shrub to 2 m

Leaves simple, 70-130 x 25-48 mm, glabrous; oil dots clear; numerous, petioles 6-16mm long often red; stipules about 5 mm long.

Inflorescence an axillary raceme or umbel.

Flower petals 5 or 6, about 8 mm long; calyx green or whitish. April to May.

Fruit a berry, purplish-red to black, 7-12x 10-12 mm, large persistent pale calyx at base, pedicels about 13 mm long; seeds 1 brown, 5-6 mm long. June to August.

Dispersal: spread by bird- and mammal- dispersed seed.

Confused with: Other Ardisia species (most native species do not have fruit that turn black at maturity).

Notes: Planted as an ornamental for its rapid growth and attractive fruit. Grows in moist tropical forests. Plants are shade tolerant. Forms dense monotypic stands in invaded range overseas.

Local notes: Ardisia elliptica has been planted on the Atherton Tablelands.

Control - hand remove smaller plants, cut stump and paint with herbicide.


Asparagace plumosus - Climbing Asparagus fern, Ferny Asparagus - Declared class 3

Asparagus plumosus

Family: Asparagaceae.

Form: Vine

Origin: Native of South Africa.

Flowers/ Seedhead: Greenish white, bell-shaped, 5-7 mm wide. Flowers spring to autumn.

Description: Wiry perennial scrambler with fibrous rhizomes and roots, aerial parts to 5 m high on supporting vegetation. Stems to many metres long. Leaves reduced to spine-like scales that are not hardened, mostly less than 5 mm long and are found at the base of leaf-like cladodes. Seeds 2.5-3.5 mm wide.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by main roots swollen on young plants, tubers not formed; thread-like cladodes 2-7 mm long and about 0.1 mm wide, in clusters of 8-15; lateral branches arranged in the same plane; flowers single or paired at ends of lateral branches; petal-like tepals not joined; fleshy berries green at first, ripening black, 4-5 mm wide, 1-seeded. Fruits April to September.

Dispersal: Seeds spread by birds and water. Rhizomes and fruit containing seeds also spread in dumped garden waste.

Local notes: Common around Yungaburra some infestations along the Lower Peterson Ck.

Control - dig up plants make sure to get most of the tubers, basal spraying with herbicide.


Chukrasia tabularis - Indian Red Wood, Chittagong Wood, Chickrassia

Family: Meliaceae

Origin: India, China and South-East Asia

Tree to 40m, deciduous.

Leaves compound, alternate, leaflets 8-24, opposite or alternate, upperside glabrous or sparsely hairy, underside hairy or sparesly hairy, domatia present as tufts of hairs.

Inflorescence an axillary or terminal panicle.

Flower petals 4 or 5, green, white, cream or pink, 10-16 mm long; calyx green pink or red. December.

Fruit a capsule, brown, 25-50 mm long x 25-40 mm wide, woody, 3-5 valved; seeds numerous, about 12 mm long, brown, winged. May.

Distribution: now naturalised on the Atherton Tablelands, altitude 650 - 750m.


Coffea arabica - Arabian Coffee, Coffee

Coffea arabica

Family: Rubiaceae

Origin: Native to central Africa.

Shrub or tree to 6m.

Leaves simple, 70-200 X 30-90 mm, glabrous, domatia may be present as foveoles, translucent dots may be visible with a lens; petioles 8-12 mm long; stipules 2-4 mm long.

Inflorescence an axillary fascicle.

Flower diameter 18-25 mm; petals 5, white or cream; calyx green fragrant. October to November.

Fruit a drupe, red, 12-16mm long and 10-15mm wide; seeds 1 or 2, green or cream, 10-14 mm long May to August.

Notes fruit eaten by many bird species.

Coffee has invaded undisturbed rainforest and rainforest margins on the Atherton Tableland, in particular the Lake Barrine section of Crater Lakes National Park.

Control - hand remove smaller plants, cut stump and paint with herbicide.


More weeds

Weeds Why bother? - Declared and significant weeds in Queensland - Lantana - Local Law Declared weeds - Stevia ovata

Environmental Weeds - A - C (this page) - D - K - L - R - S - Z - Weed glossary

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