Catchment authorities are calling on people to continue their fight against the introduced cat’s claw creeper, which is currently 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.
Originally popular 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 weather in south-east Queensland and it’s spread amongst all of our waterways,” she said.
Cat’s claw is a declared pest because it strangles native vegetation.
Ms Edwards said the weed was controlled by chemical sprays or manual removal.
“It’s really important for people to get active around this declared pest plant because it causes lots of impacts,” she said.
There is also a biological control against the plant being used 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 said jewel beetles did not target native plants.
“There has been some concern but it’s a huge program, there’s lots of science behind it and it has been a proven bio-control agent,” she said.
Anyone who thinks they have cat’s claw on their property is urged to contact their local council.