Madeira vine a problem nationally
BEAUTIFUL but deadly to the environment, madeira vine has become a significant environmental threat in the Mary Valley and upper Mary regions.
Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee president Ian Mackay said the vine, now recognised as New South Wales' "worst weed" was well established in the Gympie region, "particularly in the Cambroon, Walli, Little Yabba and Obi areas".
And he said it had potential to spread much more widely, especially downstream after all the flooding earlier this year.
"The plant has fleshy leaves and some particularly resilient traits which make it an even bigger (though not yet as widespread in this region) threat than the insidious cat's claw creeper," Mr Mackay said.
Both plants had now been recognised as Weeds of National Significance, he said.
"As with cat's claw, it's the flowering time that provides the best opportunity to see where the vine is established," he said.
Often called "lamb's tails", after its long creamish-white flowers, the vine was a "wolf in lamb's clothing", he said.
"It can remain relatively unobtrusive for most of the year until its sprawling hold over the plants beneath is well established. Although it flowers profusely, it reproduces mainly from tubers along its stems."