Description Large, fast-growing semi-woody shrub. Not a native of Japan or anywhere near it – in fact a native of Central America. Flower-heads resemble sunflowers.

Photo: Mark Crocker

Why it’s bad Invades disturbed, moist, nutrient-rich sites soon creating a dense thicket which expands each season.

Control Hand clearing with the cut-and-paint method slow, but effective. Foliar sprays not recommended near waterways.

Alternatives Replace with the fast-growing, native Kangaroo Apple, or Native Mulberry. Plant densely to create “instant canopy”.

Native alternative Kangaroo Apple (Solanum aviculare) Photo: Robert Whyte