Climbing Spindle Berry

Also known as:
Oriental Bittersweet

General description

Deciduous vine to 12m tall. Young twigs green, often with sharp 1-2 mm spines. Leaves taper to a point, 5-10 cm long, serrated and are spaced alternately on the vine. Inconspicuous flowers, brilliant orange fruit with a scarlet centre. Easiest to find in the autumn when the leaves turn yellow.

Disturbed and intact bush and shrubland, margins.

Birds, possibly possums and other mammals. Dumped vegetation, soil movement. Gardens, tips. Seeds are highly viable.

Vigorous vine (up to 3m a year) that prefers sunny spots, but is also shade-tolerant. Once established, it can wait for a disturbance in the forest canopy and then compete with native species for resources. Stems strangle host, overtop most canopies, which cause collapse. Layering stems become dense and form impenetrable thickets.

Site management

Recovery likely, hard to kill. Stumps and suckers resprout. Dropped stems layer. Maintain at least 6-monthly follow up until eliminated.

Recommended approaches

1. Report it immediately to the Auckland Council Biosecurity team, who will arrange for its control at their expense.
2. Dig out and dispose as much as possible. Follow up with stump paint and/or spray.
3. Stump paint, cut and dispose of most stems. Slice and treat both ends of remaining layering stems. ( 250ml glyphosate/L, or 100ml Tordon BK/L). Spring-summer.
4. Spray (60ml triclopyr +10ml penetrant/10L or 5g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L or 150ml glyphosate + 10ml penetrant/10L). Spring-Summer only. For large stands, best to cut and dispose stems in autumn, spray regrowth in spring.

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

Search tags

RPMS status

Total Control - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
climbing spindle berry - Main species image