Miconia: declared pest

Page last updated: Friday, 4 October 2019 - 5:40pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Miconia (Miconia spp.) is a declared pest in Western Australia (WA). This article describes the nature of the plant with links to requirements land owners/occupiers must adhere to and pest control methods.

Form: shrub, tree — perennial

Status: not present in WA

Miconia species are native across the tropics, particular the Americas, but none is native to Australia.


Miconia species are very vigorous shrubs and trees, cultivated for their large, colourful leaves. Miconia calvescens is a tree to about 15 metres. They typically produce small black berries containing many seeds and which are spread by birds.

Several Miconia species have been used as garden plants in many countries, and three have been found in Queensland: M. calvescens, M. nervosa and M. racemosa. M. calvescens has also been found in nurseries in New South Wales. M. calvescens has been found growing wild in north Queensland (near El Arish and Mossman) where it is a nationally funded target for eradication. It is also a serious weed on several Pacific Islands, including French Polynesia and Hawaii, where it forms dense monospecific stands which shade out native plants.

Leaves: The leaves of all Miconia species have three prominent veins – one up the centre and one along each side. The leaves are often dark green on the upper surface and purple underneath. The leaves of M. calvescens are very large, up to 70 centimetres long.

Flowers: Miconia species produce large branched sprays of many small white or pinkish fragrant filamentous flowers. The sprays are held clear of the leaves at the tips of the branches. 

Fruit: After flowering, M. calvescens produces numerous small black berries each containing about 200 seeds. The berries are attractive to birds.

Agricultural and economic impact

An envieonmental weed. Miconia species invade rainforest areas, competing with native plant species and affecting habitat of native fauna. In large infestations, the dark leaves reduce light levels beneath the canopy and thereby inhibit germination and growth of other plant species. Miconia plants can cause hillside instability and erosion due to shallow root system.

Declared pest category

The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Search for miconia in the WAOL using the scientific name Miconia.

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.

Search > detect > report

MyPestGuide™ Reporter
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Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080

Control method

Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the miconia control link.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
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