Message from agriculture officials: Don’t pull or cut this ‘Devil Weed’

Message from agriculture officials: Don’t pull or cut this ‘Devil Weed’
The devil weed got its unofficial name for its resemblance to a three-pronged pitchfork. (Source: Oahu Invasive Species Committee)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Efforts by the Army’s Natural Resources Program to control a highly invasive plant are ongoing.

It’s called the Devil Weed, also known as Siam weed or bitter bush, according to the Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC).

The weed was first found in 2011 in the Kahuku Training Area on Oahu’s North Shore. Since then, it has also been detected in Kahana Valley, Pupukea and more recently in Aiea.

“Devil weed is a state-listed noxious weed, poses a fire threat due to its flammability, is a skin and respiratory irritant, toxic to animals, and can destroy native habitat,” experts say.

Officials originally had plans to use herbicide to kill the weed on Oahu earlier this month, but plans were tabled. Officials are continuing their work to monitor areas where the weed is found.

The devil weed is an aggressive invasive species that is toxic to animals, chokes out other plants, and can produce 800,000 seeds each year that are spread easily.

Those who come across the plant are asked to not pull or cut the plant. Instead, report it to OISC by calling 266-7994. Reports can also be made by sending a photo and location to oisc@hawaii.edu or text 808-286-4616.

For more information on the weed and its dangers, click here.

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