A priority invasive plant for the Sunshine Coast Council local government area, the Mexican bean tree was recently discovered on a property in Glenmount Road, Buderim in the Mooloolah River catchment.
The Mexican bean tree is listed as a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
The Mexican bean tree is native to tropical America and is among the most abundant weed species across large parts of Central America.
A council conservation partnerships officer assisted the landholder to confirm the identity of the invasive plant.
Divisional Councillor Ted Hungerford encouraged other residents in the area to be on the lookout and report any sightings to council as soon as possible.
“To date, the Mexican bean tree has only been sighted in the Mooloolah River and Pumicestone Passage catchments,” Cr Hungerford said
“It has been identified as an alert species due to it not currently being found in the adjoining Maroochy, Mary and Upper Stanley River catchments.
“The recently endorsed Sunshine Coast Council Local Government Area Biosecurity Plan 2017 identifies the need to eradicate this species in the Mooloolah River catchment and council is diligently working towards this goal with Biosecurity Queensland.”
Biosecurity Queensland Principal Biosecurity Officer Duncan Swan said early detection and reporting were key to controlling the Mexican bean tree.
“I encourage all residents living in the area to become familiar with the Mexican bean tree so we can work together to wipe it out and protect our environment,” Mr Swan said.
“The Mexican bean tree has leaves that resemble paw-paw leaves, with the lower leaf surface covered in white hairs.
“Hollow stems and yellow flowers in clusters are also key features.
“Biosecurity Queensland are going to survey locations near the sighting to identify any other Mexican bean tree plants.”
Council’s Team Leader Vector and Pest Plant Education and Control Mark Call said these fast-growing trees were quick to colonise and had the potential to cause serious and irreversible damage to our native ecosystems.
“The seeds are spread by fruit bats and birds so it’s important we all keep an eye out for this species both in the local Buderim area and across the region,” Mr Call said.
“I encourage the local community to take a look in their backyards and report any sightings of this invasive plant so that assistance can be provided to destroy it as soon as possible.”
Sightings of the Mexican bean tree must be reported within 24 hours of sighting by contacting council on 5475 7272.
For more information visit the Biosecurity Queensland website:
Visit council’s website to view the Sunshine Coast Council Local Government Area Biosecurity Plan 2017 - https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Council/Planning-and-Projects/Council-Plans/Sunshine-Coast-Council-Local-Government-Area-Biosecurity-Plan
The effective management of invasive plants and animals is important as we work towards a healthy environment and liveable Sunshine Coast in 2041.