A new Class 1 plant, Pond Apple (Annona glabra), has been detected on the Far North Coast of NSW.
It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia due to its invasiveness, potential for spread, economic impact and environmental impact.
Before this discovery, there were no known infestations of Pond Apple in NSW.
The weed has already had devastating effects on the wet tropic bioregion of Far North Queensland where it has invaded more than 2000 hectares of environmentally valuable mangrove forest.
Pond Apple can form dense thickets which can exclude most (or all) native plant species. Its ability to grow in flooded areas and to tolerate salt water has enabled it to spread through much of northern Queensland’s wet tropics area. The weed continues to threaten extensive wetland areas, including mangrove communities.
From an economic perspective, Pond Apple also threatens the agricultural and pastoral sectors of Australia by growing in and along creeks, fence lines and farm drains on the north-eastern coast.
The weed was originally introduced into Australia as grafting stock for the closely related custard apple. It has previously been discovered growing as far south as Brisbane.
As Pond Apple has not been discovered in the region before, it is important to manage any infestations before it can have an impact on our region.