Ginger joins banned list

“GINGERS are gingers, so which ones are now banned?”

Maryborough garden guru Don Macdonald was alarmed this week when he heard three varieties of ginger had been declared as weeds and banned from sale in Queensland.

“We stock hundreds of ginger varieties,” said Mr Macdonald from Bouganvillia Dell Nursery. “There’s everything from Australian bush tucker gingers to Asian varieties and many are also sold at every plant outlet across the Fraser Coast from the small retailers to Bunnings and Big W.”

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin said the three newly declared weed species were yellow ginger (hedychium flavescens), white ginger (hedychium coronarium) and kahili ginger (hedychium gardnerianum).

“Ginger has been around for a long time and is common in back yard gardens, but yellow, white and kahili ginger can suppress or replace native plants and they pose a real threat to our national parks and forests,” Mr Mulherin said.

“These ginger plants already cause serious problems in countries such as Hawaii, New Zealand and South Africa and we need to act now before these weeds become widespread in Queensland.”

Mr Macdonald said yellow ginger was one of the most common varieties on the Fraser Coast.

“We don’t stock much of it because it’s in just about every garden everywhere throughout Australia. It’s so common people just go to their neighbours and get suckers.

“If anything was to be banned it should have been cardamom – it’s everywhere.”

Mr Mulherin said it was important to know what to look for.

“The newly declared weed species are ornamental plants, not the food producing variety,” he said.

“Yellow ginger is not known to be established in the wild and has been declared a Class 1 weed to prevent this happening.

“Landowners are now responsible for ensuring their land is free from yellow ginger.

“If you have yellow ginger in the garden, be sure to remove and dispose of it properly – don’t dump it in bushland where it can spread.

“Dig out the entire plant including the roots, place it in a black garbage bag, secure the top and leave it in the sun for two days before placing it in a garbage bin.

“White and kahili ginger are Class 3 weeds. This means landholders adjacent to environmentally significant areas (such as national parks) must control these weeds on their property.”

Under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 penalties now apply for selling or trading yellow, kahili and white ginger in Queensland.

If you see these weeds for sale in the state contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

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