Type of weed: Vine or scrambler
Flower colour(s): Cream, Pale pink
Priority Weed Local Priority Weed. (See more weeds of the Local Priority Weed class.)
Flowering Months: January, February, September, October, November, December
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.
Milky sap can irritate skin.
Moth Vine can be confused with native climbers such as Milk Vine (Marsdenia rostrata) and Monkey Rope Vine (Parsonsia straminea).
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.
Lower Blue Mountains, Upper Blue Mountains. Some areas in the Upper and Mid Mountains but mostly Lower Mountains and in the Nepean River system.
- 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.
- Hand remove
- Remove flowers, fruit, pods or seeds
- Scrape and paint
Take hold of one runner and gently pull it along the ground towards you. Check points of resistance where fibrous roots grow from the nodes. Cut roots with a knife or dig out with a trowel and continue to follow the runner. The major root systems need to be removed manually or scrape/cut and painted with herbicide. Bag any reproductive parts.
Remove seeds, pods or fruit
Gently remove any seeds, pods or fruit and carefully place in a bag.
Note: Herbicides that may be used for this weed include Glyphosate.
Scrape and paint
With a knife, scrape up to a metre of the stem to reach the layer below the bark/outer layer. Immediately apply herbicide along the length of the scrape.
- A maximum of half the stem diameter should be scraped. Do not ringbark.
- Larger stems (over 1 cm in diameter) should have two scrapes opposite each other.
- Vines can be left hanging in trees after treatment.
Specific control tips for this weed
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:
Local Priority Weed
- The plant should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
- Plants under 4 metres in height should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
- The spread of this plant should be adequately contained to prevent spread impacting on priority assets. Weed notices will only be issued for these weeds under special circumstances.