Moth Vine Plant

08 Dec, 2021

Araujia hortorum. Also known as Moth Plant, Kapok Vine, Araujia Sericifera. Smothers native vegetation and has an impact on forestry.

Originating from South America, Moth Plant is an incredibly invasive weed that causes problems both in home gardens and in Native Bush. It’s a vigorous slender evergreen vine that can grow over 6m long.

Adapted to survive in many conditions, the seeds can germinate almost anywhere. Milky white sap is produced within the stems and pods that is poisonous to animals and can sting skin and eyes and can also cause Dermatitis.

Note: The fruit are often confused with Chokos, an edible savoury fruit. To avoid confusion it’s best to remove this weed wherever possible. Chokos do not have a milky sap.

Physical Control

Wear gloves before handling the plant or its fruit.

The first and most important management tool for Moth Plant is to not allow it to go to seed. Seeds are wind dispersed and can be blown long distance's, this along with the share quantity of seeds is what makes this plant the pest that it is. Remove seed pods as soon as they start to grow, dispose of them in your rubbish.

Keep an eye out for new seedlings and pull these out, as the vine grow's it gets much harder to pull out, often forming a thick trunk. For large plants that can not be pulled out, trace the stems back to the base, cut the vine off at the base and dispose off in the rubbish.

Other Treatment

Trace the vines back to the base, cut off then apply Cut N Paste Met Gel to the base. Pull vines down and dispose of in the rubbish or landfill.

Care should be taken when using Met Gel near desirable plants as it can be carried from the roots into the soil affecting nearby species. Do not use near edible crops.

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