Weed Identification

Australia > > Moth Plant

Moth Plant

Araujia sericifera

Alternative Name(s): Araujia hortorum, Moth vine

Family: Asclepiadaceae.

Form: Vine

Origin: Native to southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers: White to pale pink in groups of 25 in axils of leaves. Flower perfumed, tubular, 0.81.4 cm long, 5-lobed, stamens 5. Flowers late spring to autumn.

Description: Perennial climber with twining stems, climbing to 6 m on supporting vegetation. Leaves oblong to triangular, 311 cm long, 16 cm wide, base of midrib on upper surface with finger-like small glands; base at right-angles to leaf stalk that is 0.54 cm long. Fruit a blue-green pod initially, turning brown and woody with age, splitting to release seeds. Seeds black, numerous, about 4 mm long and ending in a tuft of white silky hairs about 2.5 cm long.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by twining habit; milky latex exuded from damaged stems and leaves; leaves opposite, upper surface green with scattered hairs, lower surface blue-green with very short dense covering of hairs and pearshaped fruit 612 cm long and 37 cm wide.

Dispersal: Spread by wind-blown seeds.


Blue-green fleshy fruit, white flower,
leaves, stem & milky latex

Notes: Garden escape. Climber that smothers shrubs and small trees, depressing their growth. Weed of wasteland and forests adjoining settlement mainly in coastal higher rainfall areas.

References:

    Flora of NSW. G. Harden (ed), Vol. 3, 1992, page 527. Flora of Victoria. N. Walsh and T. Entwisle (eds), 1999, Vol. 4, page 328.

Web References: Search Australian web sites for further information on this weed.


Seedling

Black seeds end in a tuft of
white silky hairs

Fruit split in
half shows seeds
& silky hairs

Climber
Copeland, NSW
photo J.R. Hosking

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card V06

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.

 

Australia > > Moth Plant

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