White moth vine

Native to Brazil, white moth vine is a vigorous, woody creeper that can smother native plants. It also exudes a milky latex that can cause allergic reactions. White moth vine is listed as a weed in several countries. It is found in South East Queensland.

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

Scientific name

Araujia sericifera

Other names

  • Moth vine, bladder flower

Description

  • Perennial vine that can climb up to 7m.
  • Leaves are triangular, opposite, up to 10cm long, with white underside.
  • Flowers are bell-shaped, with 5 sepals 8-13mm long, 5 petals 18-20mm long, white, pink or violet.
  • Fruit is large, egg-shaped, 6-12cm long, 3-7cm wide, similar to choko, splits open when dry to release wind-borne seeds on silky hairs.
  • Seeds are blackish, topped with white, silky hairs 20-30mm long.

Habitat

  • Found in rainforest remnants, vine scrubs and wet sclerophyll forests.
  • Often seen draped over fence lines.

Distribution

  • Occurs in South East Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Flowers during summer and autumn.

Affected animals

  • Humans
  • livestock

Impacts

Environmental

  • Smothers native plants with thick, tangled growth.

Social

  • Exudes smelly, milky latex that may cause allergic reactions in some people.

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by wind and birds.

Control

Physical control

  • Wear gloves when manually removing this plant due to irritating latex.
  • Hand-pull seedlings.
  • Cut roots at least 10cm below ground.

Herbicide control

  • Herbicides are effective.

See the White moth vine fact sheet (PDF, 653KB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • White moth 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