South Burnett Regional Council has issued a biosecurity alert after the invasive Harrisia cactus was found on a property in the Glan Devon area near Nanango (Photo: SBRC)
Harrisia cactus’ distinctive seed pods … the seeds can easily be spread by birds
(Photo: SBRC)

July 16, 2020

South Burnett Regional Council has issued a biosecurity alert after the Queensland Herbarium confirmed the invasive Harrisia cactus has been found at Glan Devon, near Nanango.

Council’s Pest Management contractors made the discovery during routine weed surveillance on a property.

Harrisia (Harrisia martinii) is a Category 3 restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and is regarded as a medium-to-high biosecurity risk in the South Burnett.

The Glan Devon outbreak is currently the only known active infestation of Harrisia cactus in the region.

But if allowed to spread, the plant has the ability to form dense infestations that will reduce pastures to a level unsuitable for stock.

The plant’s seeds are also highly viable and readily spread by birds.

Council’s Natural Resource Management (NRM) team and pest management contractors will be undertaking surveillance of Glan Devon properties over the next few weeks to determine the extent of the infestation and identify if there is a risk of further spread to new areas.

Council are asking landholders and residents to familiarise themselves with Harrisia cactus identification, to check their paddocks and gardens and report any suspicious plants.

Early detection and reporting are key elements in controlling the plant.

For assistance with identification, to report possible sites or to find out more information, contact the NRM team on 1300-789-279, (07) 4189-9100 or by email

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