New, invasive plant found on Hawaii Island

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new, invasive plant has been found on the Big Island.

It is called “Devil Weed,” and officials said it is fast-spreading and noxious.

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The plant has been found near the motorcross track in Hilo and several places in Puna.

Experts said, “Devil Weed” is one of the 100 most invasive weeds in the world and it is toxic to livestock. The plant is also a fire hazard.

“So when it’s dry, it’s particularly scary as a fire fuel but even when it’s not dry, even when it’s green that oil can serve as a fuel for fire.”

Franny Kinslow Brewer, Big Island Invasive Species Committee

Experts said the plant can also cause skin rashes and asthma if it is touched. They warned people who used the Hilo motocross to be aware of the new species because its seeds are small, light and can easily be transported on shoes and muddy tires.

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