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Scrambling or low-climbing perennial with brown kumara or beetroot-like tubers (5-20 cm long) with yellow flesh as well as extensive long weak rhizomes. Hairless, reddish-green stems (to 3-4 m long) are ribbed, zigzagging and slender. Light green arrow-shaped leaves (3-8 x 2-6 cm) have pointed basal lobes facing downwards. Clusters of small, green-pink or reddish flowers are produced at the top of the plant from November to March, followed by large masses of showy yellow-pink-crimson, flat, heart-shaped capsules (1 cm diameter) containing seeds.
Effective dispersal mechanisms and a fast growth rate allows it to scramble quickly over most plants to 3+ m high. Tolerates damp or drought conditions (dies back to tubers), hot to cool temperatures and most soils, but intolerant of shade.
Invades regenerating habitats, bare and open sites, replaces low canopy, and prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings. Provides support for more aggressive vines, kikuyu, etc.