Following a report by a member of staff, Coffs Harbour City Council officers discovered Giant Devil’s Fig plants growing along a roadside near Coffs Harbour last week.

The officers immediately removed the many plants, found in two separate locations and ranging in size from small seedlings to large adults.

Coffs Harbour City Council senior weeds inspector Alan Wray said it was the first detection of Giant Devil’s Fig recorded at Coffs Harbour.

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“We are seeking the assistance of community members to play their part in protecting the rich biodiversity of the region,” Mr Wray said.

“The seriousness of the threat to our bushland cannot be overstated. We share a similar climate to the other locations in the world where this plant has devastated the natural environment.

“Due to the size of the plants, we know there will be more in the area and we need the assistance of our community to find them.”

Giant Devil’s Fig (Solanum chrysotrichum) is a native of Central America and was introduced to the Far North Coast of New South Wales about 35 years ago.

It has been spread extensively by birds and bats to become one of the most serious weed threats on the North Coast.

A member of the Solanaceae family, it is a tall perennial shrub, three metres to four metres high, with a similar growth habit to wild tobacco.

It has thorns similar to a rose plant and long distinct rusty coloured hairy stems and petioles.

The broad ovate lobed leaves finish in a distinct point.  The leaves are hairy on the underside.  The fruit is similar to wild tobacco.

Anyone knowing the location of Giant Devil’s Fig plants is encouraged to contact Coffs Harbour City Council on 6648 4880.  Alternatively, people can report the weed on our Report a Weed form or via www.looklearnact.com .

For more information on Giant Devil’s Fig and other high-priority weeds in the area, view its listing in our weeds database, see our Brochures page or www.looklearnact.com .