MPI enlists support in hunt for pest weed Velvetleaf

MPI and partners are working to locate outbreaks of the pest weed Velvetleaf in the South Island. If you see it, photograph it, mark its location so it can be found again easily and immediately call MPI on its free hotline – 0800 80 99 66.

What is Velvetleaf

Velvetleaf, a serious cropping pest, has been found in fodder beet crops in North Canterbury and Central Otago. It affects many arable crops by competing for nutrients, water and space.

Velvetleaf is a broad-leafed weed that grows to between 1m and 2.5m. It has buttery-yellow flowers which appear over summer and autumn. Leaves are heart shaped and velvety to touch.

Current Situation

Velvetleaf is known to be present in the Waikato where it is well managed by the regional council. The South Island discovery looks to be recent and MPI is working with partners in the seed and farming industries and regional councils to manage it.

You Can Help

If you find Velvetleaf, please help us to get rid of this weed from the South Island by taking the following actions:

  • If possible, take a photo of the plant/s.
  • Mark the location so it is easy to find.
  • Do not pull the plant out.
  • Contact MPI immediately on the Pests and Diseases Hotline - 0800 80 99 66. Be assured all calls to the hotline are treated in confidence.

For more information please visit the following links:


Page reviewed: 23 May 2016 9:16am