Moth Vine

Araujia sericifera

Family: Apocynaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , , , , ,

Description

Leaves are dark-green and shiny above, dull grey-green below, square at the base with a long tip.

Flowers are creamy-white to pale pink flowers in clusters in spring and summer.

Fruit is choko-like that splits to release thousands of fly-away dandelion-like seeds.

Note:

Milky sap can irritate skin.

Alert:

Moth Vine can be confused with native climbers such as Milk Vine (Marsdenia rostrata) and Monkey Rope Vine (Parsonsia straminea).

Dispersal

Wind dispersed.

Impact on bushland

Moth Vine produces thousands of seeds and therefore an area can be invaded by masses of seedlings. The vine climbs high into trees and smothers the plant.

Distribution

, . Some areas in the Upper and Mid Mountains but mostly Lower Mountains and in the Nepean River system.

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Wonga Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana)
  • Water Vine (Cissus antarctica)
  • Old Man’s Beard (Clematis aristata)

NB: NOT Clematis cultivars – these can also be environmental weeds.

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.

Control

Moth Vine cannot be sprayed. Hand pull young plants. Scrape and paint is the most effective control technique. Bag any fruit and remove from the site.

For key points on these techniques:

  • Illustration of glove for hand weeding

    Hand weeding