Arrowhead vine

Native to Central America, arrowhead vine is a rampant creeping or climbing plant widely grown in north Queensland gardens. At least 10 different cultivars have been developed. Under the right conditions, arrowhead vine can overtake native vegetation.

Arrowhead vine is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Syngonium podophyllum

Description

  • Creeping or climbing plant with leaves shaped like arrowheads.
  • Leaves are alternate, 3-lobed, up to 30cm long, 2-8cm wide.
  • Juvenile leaves are entire, with silvery-white veins or centre bounded by green.
  • Mature leaves are dark green and segmented into 3 leaflets, central leaflet being longest.
  • Total of 4-11 flower spikes develops in leaf axils, each comprising 6-9 green tubular flowers.
  • Flowers are enclosed in creamy-white to green modified leaf.
  • Fruit is red to reddish-orange with many black or brown seeds within soft, greyish pulp.

Habitat

  • Once established, will take root wherever stem touches ground.
  • Prefers moist, shady conditions and fertile soils.

Distribution

  • Commonly grown in north Queensland gardens.
  • Naturalised in coastal districts of south-eastern, central and northern Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Seeds germinate in spring and plants grow until summer.
  • Flowers appear January to late autumn.
  • Fruit matures autumn-winter.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Creeps or climbs rampantly over native vegetation in moist shady areas with fertile soils.

How it is spread

  • Almost exclusively propagated by cuttings and spread by cultivation and dumping of garden refuse.

Control

Physical control

  • Hand-pull isolated plants and small infestations, making sure to remove all roots and stem fragments.

Herbicide control

  • No herbicide is currently registered for control in Queensland; however, an off-label use permit (Permit No. PER11463) covers various herbicides for control of environmental weeds in non-agricultural areas, bushland, forests, wetlands, and coastal and adjacent areas.

See the Arrowhead vine fact sheet (PDF, 1.8MB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Arrowhead vine is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information