Invasive plant 'green cancer' covers Hawaii's Big Island - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Invasive plant 'green cancer' covers Hawaii's Big Island

(Image: DLNR) (Image: DLNR)
(Image: DLNR) (Image: DLNR)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii officials say they've lost the war against an invasive South American plant.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday that the Hawaii Invasive Species Council has deemed the miconia as Hawaii's worst invasive weed.

Public information officer for Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, Christy Martin, says by the time officials new about miconia, it had already spread. Martin says the plant is not going to be eradicated from the Big Island.

Officials' plan moving forward is to find biocontrols that are able to make the plant behave better.

Miconia is a large plant with purple and green leaves. In Tahiti they call it "green cancer," or "velvet cancer."

A research entomologist with the U.S. Forest service says the problem is it grows so large that it creates shade, which prohibits growth underneath.

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