Originally from Mexico, Sisal Hemp plants grow up to two metres tall and closely resemble the native Crinium lily. As the plant matures, it produces a tall flowering spike on which smaller plants develop. Mature plants are often surrounded by younger plants that have fallen off the flowering spike. These younger plants are easily spread through site disturbance, which can roll or wash them down slopes, where they establish new colonies.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers have worked to remove large patches of Sisal Hemp from land surrounding Bogimbah, Urang and Wanggoolba creeks since 2002. Contractors funded through the State Government’s strategic pest management program have also assisted staff in controlling these Sisal Hemp infestations by removing remaining plants before they reach maturity and surveying areas for potential infestations.
In the first four years, the area affected by Sisal Hemp was reduced from an approximately 3,000 square metre area, to just small sporadic re-emergences of plants. Sisal Hemp was initially introduced to Fraser Island in the 1800s, in an effort to cover the site of the Bogimbah Mission; now, native grasses and shrubs cover this important cultural site.
Help reduce the spread of introduced species by always disposing of garden waste at designated waste transfer stations. Weeds know no boundaries and management is everyone’s responsibility.
L. Behrendorff RIC NRM, Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service