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Weed Alert - Koster's curse

27th September 2017

Have you seen this weed

Native to tropical America, Koster's curse is a highly invasive shrub that generally grows to about 2m but can reach up to 5m tall. It forms dense thickets that can smother plantations, pastures and native vegetation. It is a serious pest in at least 16 countries, including Hawaii, Fiji and Indonesia.

An infestation of Koster's Curse has been found in the Wooroonoonan National Park, North of Innisfail and has been identified as a potential threat to surrounding high-value agricultural land and World Heritage-listed rainforest.

Koster’s curse has the potential to spread rapidly over many areas of Australia where conditions are suitable, including the Northern Territory, northern New South Wales, and much of north-east Queensland.

Koster's curse is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Koster's curse is: 

  • Perennial shrub, generally 50-200cm tall.
  • Leaves are elliptical, 8-10cm long, arranged in opposite pairs, with distinctive veins giving 'quilted' appearance
  • Leaves and stems are covered in stiff, reddish-brown hairs.
  • Flowers are small, white, 1-1.5cm in diameter, produced in clusters in leaf forks.
  • Berries are hairy and turn dark purple when mature.

Council is committed to the early eradication of this highly invasive problem weed, if you have seen Koster's curse in the Hinchinbrook Shire, please call Council on 4776 4607. 

More information regarding Koster's curse can be found at here

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