A black market of dangerous and invasive plants is catching out Brisbane residents, with more than 380 destruction notices issued over the past three years, Brisbane City Council has revealed.
Lord Mayor, Adrian Schrinner is urging residents to be vigilant when buying plants.
“Brisbane is a clean, green and sustainable city and invasive plants pose a serious threat to our environment,” he said.
“Invasive plants are being potted and sold on online marketplaces to unknowing residents who can at times pay up to $100 for these dangerous species.
“What might look like a beautiful cactus, could actually be a destructive weed.”
The Lord Mayor said there were more than 100 species considered an invasive weed.
“If just one of these find its way into our environment it has potential to wipe out habitats, kill wildlife and choke waterways.”
“With a predicted high fire season ahead it’s even more important that residents remove any weed grasses such as guinea grass and molasses grass from their homes.
“Unmanaged weed grasses significantly increase fire intensity, to they need to be removed from the home as soon as possible.”
Over the past three financial years, Council has received 1,166 complaints about possible pest plants and issued 380 eradication notices
He said the most found and destroyed pest plants are coral cactus, prickly pear, snake cactus and the bunny ears cactus, which can blind cattle and cause skin irritations in humans.
“Education is our number one priority, we want to help residents identify these plants before buying them and taking them home.”
The Council has a free Weed Identification Tool available online to help residents to identify different plant varieties.
“If you do spot a pest plant, we encourage you to report it directly to Council online or by calling our contact centre and help protect our environment from these invasive plants.”
Council also manages weeds on its own land through the Wipe Out Weed program.
In the past financial year, the Council managed weeds across 55 sites. Across the city, Council has removed and controlled pest plants and replanted with native species across 2618 hectares of land.