Environmental Weeds

Duranta erecta - Duranta, Sky Flower

Duranta erecta

Family: Verbenaceae

Origin: Native to southern USA.

Naturalised distribution: coastal districts of eastern Australia.

Habitat: a weed of disturbed sites, open woodlands, and riparian areas.

Habit: a slightly spiny upright shrub or small tree, with drooping brances, usually 4-6 m tall, occasionally to 7 m.

Distinguishing features:

Reproduction and dispersal: this species reproduces mainly be seed, commonly dispersed by birds or in dumped garden waste.

Other impacts: the leaves and fruit are poisonous to people and animals.


Erythrina x sykesii - Common Coral Tree

Coral Tree

Family: Fabaceae

Origin: a hybrid of horticultural origin, probably developed in Australia or New Zealand.

Habit: tree

Coral trees have bright red flowers from mid winter to mid spring.

It is semi-deciduous and very hardy - it likes the wet soils along creeks but also can adapt to dry areas.

It can block the flow of creeks and cause creek bank erosion, causing other trees to fall over. It has vicious thorns so needs to be handled carefully with gloves. Injuries from the spikes require antiseptic to prevent infection.

Notes: This species does not produce viable seed and only propagates vegetatively, via stem segments and suckers. Logs, branches and twigs will grow into new plants, and they break easily, aiding its spread during floods. Primarily a problem along creeks and rivers.

Local notes: Scattered patches of Common Coral tree occur on the Atherton Tablelands, usually escaped from cultivation.

Recommended Control methods

Any plant material removed can be chipped, mulched or burned although burning can be difficult due to the high moisture content.


Ipomoea indica - Blue morning glory

Family Convolvulaceae

Vine: twiner; stems hairy.

Leaves simple, unlobed or 3 lobed, 30-180 X 25-150 mm; upperside hairy, underside velvet hairy, petioles 10-130mm long hairy.

Inflorescence axillary, 2-many flowered.

Flower diameter 65-80mm, blue or purple with paler bands and a dark or pale throat, calyx green. May - November.

Fruit a capsule, about 10 x 10mm, 3 valved. Not seen in Australia.

Distribution: a native of America, now naturalised in rainforest, disturbed areas and open forest.


Khaya anthotheca - African Mahogany

Khaya anthotheca

Family Meliaceae

Native to tropical Africa

Tree to 30-45 m tall, trunk to 1 m diameter often buttressed at the base.

Leaves are pinnate.

Flowers small yellowish petals.

Fruit is a globose four or five valved capsule 5-8cm diameter containing numerous winged seeds.

Distribution: has been found on the Atherton Tablelands, with numerous seedlings germinating under planted trees.

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