Smilax

Also known as:
Bridal Creeper
Family:
Liliaceae
Origin:
South Africa

General description

Climbing perennial creeping herb <3m. Grows from short rhizomes with tuberous roots. Smallish glossy thin green leaves, alternate, broadly ovate, with sharp point. Small greenish-white flowers (Jul-Aug). Small sticky red berries.

Disturbed forest & margins, coastal areas, roadsides. Prefers fertile, well-drained, lightly-textured soils, tolerates all but wettest soils.

Seeds dispersed via birds, animals, machinery. Dumped tubers in garden refuse.

Out-competes other vegetation by forming pure colonies. Forms canopy over plants 2-3m high, even in shade. Serious threat to native plant communities. Particular threat to pohutukawa & kowhai.

Site management

Spray regrowth after 2 months. Follow up every winter until seed bank exhausted.

Recommended approaches

1. Grub out small scattered plants.
2. Weed wipe spring-early summer (300ml glyphosate/1L).
3. Spring-early summer, cut vines 60cm above ground, spray lightly, (200ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L) avoid runoff. Do not add penetrant when spraying against tree trunks.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

scrambling lily
Geitonoplesium cymosum

Scrambling lily's leaves are longer, narrower and more spread out on the stems and are not glossy. The berries are green ripening to black.

climbing asparagus
Asparagus scandens

Climbing asparagus cladodes are narrow and are arranged usually at 3 per stem node.

RPMS status

Containment (removal) - Waitakere weed control zone
Containment (removal) - Great Barrier Island
Surveillance - Whole Region
Community Initiatives - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
smilax - Main species image