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.


    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.


Black seeds end in a tuft of
white silky hairs

Fruit split in
half shows seeds
& silky hairs

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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