DID you know you can send specimens of potential, new and emerging weeds to the Queensland Herbarium for free identification?

The Herbarium is host to the Weed Spotters’ Network, a statewide community-based weed alert program. Network participants help to find, identify and document new occurrences of potential and existing weeds, at an early stage, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Specimens, along with location information, help the public better understand how far and how quickly weeds are spreading. This type of information is crucial for developing early response strategies and for the ongoing control and containment of established weeds.

There are currently more than 1280 plant species listed as weeds in Queensland, with an average of 12 new weeds becoming established each year, largely as a result of garden ornamentals jumping the fence into bushland. Almost ten per cent of these are declared pest plants, meaning that landowners have a responsibility to manage these plants on their properties.

A full list of declared plants can be found on the Biosecurity Queensland web site: http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/plants/weeds-pest-animalsants/weeds/declared-...

As a participating  Weed Spotter, you receive a monthly bulletin highlighting species to keep an eye out for each season. You also have the opportunity to be trained in weed recognition and plant collecting techniques.

Gerry Turpin from the Australian Tropical Herbarium in Cairns is the Weed Spotters’ Network regional coordinator for Cape York. If you have a question about weeds on Cape York, give Gerry a call on (07) 4042 1809 or e-mail him at Gerry.Turpin@science.dsitia.qld.gov.au

If you would like to become a member of the Weed Spotters’ Network, please e-mail network coordinator Melinda Laidlaw at the Queensland Herbarium at Melinda.Laidlaw@science.dsitia.qld.gov.au for an application form.

PHOTO break out box Siam weed (Chromolaena odorata) is a class 1 declared pest plant that causes serious environmental, social and economic impacts in the Wet Tropics. It has not been recorded on Cape York to date. If you think you have seen Siam Weed in your region, please contact Biosecurity Queensland on 132523 or the Queensland Herbarium on 3896 9323.