Scrambling Lily

Australia, Melanesia, Pacific islands, Fiji

General description

Climber with wiry green stems <12m; self-supporting stems reach low branches then wind around host plant. In full shade, stems are bare, produce dense foliage once they reach dappled or full light. Dull green, stiff leaves <8cm by 1 cm, raised central vein. White to purplish-green flowers (spring-summer), bright yellow anthers in small clusters. Green pea-like fruit turns black.

Grows in full shade or sun. Frost-tender but thrives in warmer climates.

Seeds dispersed by birds. Spreads via suckering & rhizome fragments.

Forms dense infestations, smothering hosts. Very vigorous.

Site management

Remove fruit to prevent seeding. Regular follow up required.

Recommended approaches

1. Report it immediately to the Auckland Council Biosecurity team, who will arrange for its control at their expense.
2. Remove seedlings by hand.
3. Vial treatment - place cut stems into vials (5g metsulfuron or 300ml glyphosate/1L).
4. Underground rhizomes make larger plants hard to remove; cut & paint stumps (5g metsulfuron/1L).
5. Spray (100ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L).

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

Similar species

Asparagus asparagoides

Smilax leaves are shorter, wider and more tightly bunched on the stems. Leaves are glossy and berries are red.

RPMS status

Total Control - Whole Region
scrambling lily - Main species image