Small fruit devil's claw: declared pest

Page last updated: Monday, 4 May 2020 - 10:03am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Small fruit devil's claw (Martynia annua) 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: herbaceous — annual

Status: not known to be present in WA

Native from Mexico to Nicaragua, and to the Caribbean Islands.


An erect rank-growing annual herb from 1.3-2 metres high. Reproduces from seed.

Stems: Green, robust, branched and covered with glandular hairs.

Leaves: Large, like a pumpkin leaf, up to 12.5 centimetres across, arranged in opposite pairs and having five to seven shallow lobes. Glandular hairs exude a slimy sap which gives the plant a clammy feel.

Flowers: Large, pale mauve or lavender in short spikes at the end of branches. They are tubular shaped four to six centimetres long, spotted red or yellow and terminate in five spreading lobes with a prominent spot between each lobe.

Fruit: Oblong, green and fleshy when young, becoming black and woody when mature, three to four centimetres long, 1-1.5 centimetres wide tapering into a long beak (claw), which splits into two when dry. Claws are shorter than the body of the fruit.

Seed: Flat, brown to black, elongated. Two seeds to each pod, usually remaining inside the pod.

Agriculture and economic impact

A weed of disturbed sites, roadsides, moist thickets, riverbanks, floodplains, waste area and pastures.It can grows as a weed in sub-humid and semiarid thickets, steppes, rubbish dumps, pastures and cropping areas  Devil's claw is regarded as a significant environmental weed in the Northern Territory, where it is actively managed by community groups. 

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 small fruit devil's claw in WAOL using the scientific name Martynia annua.

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
via app or online
(Select 'Send report to MyWeedWatcher' from menu)

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

Control method

Report the presence of this organism before undertaking a control measure. Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the small fruit devil's claw control link.

Contact information

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