Port Macquarie Landcare is asking all Hastings residents to be on the lookout for the weed Ardisia elliptica also known as Shoebutton ardisia.
The shrub has some seriously dangerous consequences for our native bushland, and while it is most commonly found in the Northern Territory and Queensland, recently it has been seen around Lighthouse Beach.
Shoebutton ardisia is a branched shrub or small tree which usually grows up to around four metres tall.
The shrub has alternately arranged leaves which are reddish in colour. Its star-shaped flowers are borne in clusters and their flowers have five pinkish petals.
A distinguishing feature of the plant is that it has round 'berries' that turn from green to red when still quite immature, and eventually turn deep purplish or black at maturity.
Estelle Gough from Port Macquarie Landcare said the whole community had the responsibility to find the offending plant.
"We would love to bring this plant to the attention of local residents as it is one that needs to be eradicated from our gardens," Mrs Gough said.
"Making sure we don't spread dangerous shrub is the best strategy for making progress.
"Birds absolutely love the small berry like buds and we believe there may only be one of these plants located in Port Macquarie.
"However because local birds love the berries they are spreading the plant's seeds around and creating havoc for the native flora."
Mrs Gough said that it was imperative that the plant was found and removed from our local native environment.
"If anyone finds the Shoebutton ardisia in their garden they should contact the biosecurity officer at council for further advice on removal," she said.
"We have found and removed small infestations of it from Blair and Rushcutters reserve over the last 10 years and so we know there must be a mature bush in the area that the fruits are being spread from by birds."
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