Hairless perennial creeper with fleshy rhizome. Bright green, alternate, fleshy heart-shaped leaves with reddish-brown stems. Small fragrant, cream flowers (Jan-Apr) in slender spikes. Tubers produced underground & many on aerial stems.
Forest margins, low forest, rocky places, coastal areas. Prefers fertile soils in warm, moist climates.
No fruit formed in NZ. Spreads locally by twining detached aerial tubers, rhizome fragments.
Forms dense long-lived infestations that smother native plants & dominate at medium to high canopy level. Weight of tubers can topple small trees.
Follow-up always required to find all tubers. Look for tubers lodged in host trees.
1. In areas defined as Total Control, report it immediately to the Auckland Council Biosecurity team, who will arrange for its control at their expense.
2. Pull out roots & rake up aerial tubers. Parts can be placed in black plastic bags/sheets and left to cook in sun.
3. Cut stems, stump paint (100ml glyphosate /1L or 1g metsulfuron/1L or 100ml Tordon BK/1L or 100ml triclopyr/1L).
4. Larger infestations can be controlled by carefully cutting back any growth covering desirable vegetation & spray remaining growth spring-autumn (3g metsulfuron + 100ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L or 60mls clopyralid + 20mls penetrant/10L or 60mls triclopyr/10L). Clopyralid & triclopyr best for ground level tubers (though do not use clopyralid in home gardens).
Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.