Tablelands Regional Council is calling for everyone to keep an eye out for Candy Leaf Stevia ovata — a category 3 restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act.
‘Candy Leaf is a priority species in the Tablelands Biosecurity Plan (trc.qld.gov.au/tablelands-biosecurity-plan) and it must not be moved, shared, given away or sold,’ said Pest Management Advisory Committee Chair Councillor Dave Bilney.
‘Candy Leaf outcompetes native grazing pastures, and invades vegetation and riparian zones.
‘It has formed dense stands along powerline easements and watercourses in the Ravenshoe area including Vine and Blunder Creeks and Mount Ronald.
‘There are also isolated outbreaks in Herberton and Tumoulin.
‘Candy leaf is a multi-stemmed perennial daisy that grows to about 180cm high.
‘Its leaves are toothed and sweet-scented, and it forms compact white flowers on upward-arching stems during May and June.
‘As the plants age, the stems become woody and furry, and they darken to a reddish colour at the base.
‘There are a few things you can do if you see Candy Leaf:
- Report it. Tell us via qld.gov.au, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1300 362 242 or at a customer service centre.
- Plan for it. Get in touch with us if you would like help developing a farm biosecurity plan.
- Stop the spread. Ensure best practice weed hygiene and maintain buffers along high-risk areas such as roads, waterways and boundaries.
- Treat it. Manually remove or apply herbicide before May each year.
‘There’s more information, including a fact sheet for Candy Leaf, in the Tablelands Biosecurity Plan,’ Councillor Bilney said.