Botanical name: Araujia sericifera
Noxious Weed Category: Class 4
Special note: The sap is acrid and causes severe discomfort if in contact with eyes or mucous membranes.
Photos: Adam Burrowes
Originating in Peru, Moth Vine is a climber with twining stems, containing milky white sap, up to 5m high. Invades hind-dunes, rainforest and bushland.
Elongated heart-shaped leaves, grey-green in pairs along the stem.
Creamy-white to pale pink to about 1cm diameter, flowering in clusters in spring and summer. Large choko-like fruit, which splits to release masses
of fly-away dandelion like feathery seeds.
Air borne. The seed fibrous material is often used as nesting material by birds.
Impact on bushland
A vigorous climber of unrestricted height, it seeds prolifically and smothers other plants it is growing on. It germinates easily in undisturbed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that reduces its numbers, spread and incidence and continuously inhibits its reproduction and
the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.
- When hand weeding, be aware of the white sap which exudes from leaves and stems.
- Hand pull seedlings.
- Bag any fruit and remove from site.
- Larger plants develop a strong taproot. Cut and paint, or cut and use the stem scrape technique with neat Glyphosate-based product.
See Manual Weed Control Techniques.
Chemical: Please contact your local control authority for advice on chemical control.
The native climbers Marsdenia rostrata and Parsonsia straminea may be confused with Moth Vine, but both have greener foliage
and clear instead of milky sap
Source: Pittwater Council