Purple or ornamental rubber vine

Native to north-western Madagascar, purple (or ornamental) rubber vine grows supported as a many-stemmed vine or unsupported as a small shrub. It can threaten waterways and vine forests.

Purple rubber vine is closely related to rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora), which is one of Queensland's most destructive weeds.

Purple or ornamental rubber vine is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Cryptostegia madagascariensis

Other names

Ornamental rubber vine, Madagascar rubber vine, purple allamanda

Description

  • Shrub up to 3m tall if unsupported.
  • Stems can climb to 10m if supported.
  • Bark is sparsely dotted with corky patches.
  • Leaves are dark green, glossy, with pale underside, 2-11cm long, 1.5-5.5cm wide, arranged in opposite pairs.
  • Flowers are pink-purple, 4-6cm long, found near branchlet ends.
  • Pods are 7-9cm long, contain seeds 5.-5.9mm long, 1.8-3.5mm wide, topped with silky tuft of white hairs.
  • Plant produces milky latex sap when leaves, fruit or branches are cut.

Habitat

  • Prefers tropical and subtropical regions.

Distribution in Queensland

  • Sparingly naturalised in South East Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Flowers mainly during summer.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Threatens waterways and vine forests.

Economic

  • Threatens pastures.

How it is spread

  • Spread mainly by wind-dispersed seeds, water, and dumping of garden waste.

Control

Physical control

  • Dig out vine and follow up on missed plants.

Mechanical control

  • For scattered or medium-density infestations, repeatedly slash close to ground level if possible.

Herbicide control

  • Herbicides are effective in a variety of application methods.

See the Rubber vine fact sheet (PDF, 740KB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agents.

Legal requirements

  • Purple or ornamental rubber vine is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • It must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
  • The Act requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).
  • At a local level, each local government must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in its 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.

More information