What does it look like?
Vigorous, evergreen, high-climbing vine. Grows up to 10 metres high with long, hairy stems which have many spiralling tendrils. Leaves are 3-lobed (each lobe 5-14 cm long) with middle lobe the longest. Furry underside & serrated edges.
From Jan-Dec pink, hanging flowers (7 cm diameter) with central tube (60-95 mm long) appear, followed by hanging, thin-skinned fruit (7- 12 x 2-4 cm). These fruit ripen from green to yellow or orange, with sweet edible orange pulp and dark red seeds (4-6 mm long).
Most commonly found in disturbed/high light areas of forest, forest margins and edges, however it can also invade the coastal environment.
Why is it a problem?
Grows rapidly in most soil types, and produces highly viable seed in two years. Relatively tolerant to shade, damage and drought. Stems take root where they touch the ground.
Generally reaches climx growth in the medium-high canopy section of the forest, where it forms large masses which weigh down on canopy species and block out light, causing canopy collapse. After this, other weeds can easily invade due to the high light and disturbance.
Hand pull whenever possible or dig plant out at the roots. Cut off above ground or tie stems in air to prevent layering.
- Cut and stump treat larger stems (within 10 minutes of cutting) with 1g metsulfuron-methyl (600g/kg e.g. Escort®) per 1L water;
200ml glyphosate (360g/L e.g. Roundup ®) per 1L water;
- Spray masses on the ground where roots can’t be pulled with 30ml triclopyr (300g/L e.g. Grazon®) + 20ml penetrant per 10L water or 100ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant per 10L water.