Giant Devil’s Fig

Giant Devil’s Fig
Giant Devil’s Fig

A noxious weed that you see cropping up all over the place is Giant Devil’s Fig (Solanum chrysotrichum). 

The photo below shows a growing clump of small shrubs that have now been eliminated.

It’s a nasty looking thing, growing mostly up to three to four metres but it can grow up to seven metres to become a small tree. It has leaves, petioles and stems partially covered in curved thorns. Younger stems are covered in rust covered hair. The leaves are deeply lobed, a bit like a papaya and can be anywhere up to 9.5 centimetres long and up to 30 centimetres wide.   

Cafe Metz

White flowers are borne on hairy stalked clusters throughout the year and it’s yellow/orange berry fruits contain numerous seed that are distributed by birds, bats and in the water.

Like many weeds it grows fast and can form dense thickets. Before you know it, it overgrowing your natives or other preferred species.

Younger plants can be cut with secateurs but larger specimens need more robust clippers.  

It is hard to get them out of the ground so applying a mixture of glyphosate, mixed one to one with water, to the stump will be the most time efficient way to get rid of it. 

If you’re in a hurry try to cut off the flowers and fruits to stop further spread.  This will buy you time for when you can attend to it properly.

A small self-seeded native was rescued from the ones in the photo and it will eventually fill the spot that these devils were trying to dominate.