Your skin itches, your eyes run… The fibre goes up your nose.
And while the fruit looks very similar to the nutritious vegetable the choko, this plant is poisonous. I’m talking about moth plant, moth vine, cruel plant… Araujia hortorum SYN Araujia sericifera.
When a moth plant seed pod bursts thousands of seeds will fly around your neighbourhood and sprout easily, creating more of a headache for you and your neighbours.
This could be the worst weed growing in Auckland! And it’s flowering right now in your garden and at your neighbours, in parks, on building sites and wasteland.
It’s time to work together and get rid of it.
Originally from South America it was introduced into New Zealand many years ago and we now regret it. It’s smothering our native trees and desirable plants and it will be doing the same in your garden if you are not aware of it
There is a very active Facebook group called the Society Totally Against Moth Plant (STAMP) where you can report sightings of it and ask for advice. Sites are recorded so that action can be taken. If it’s in a public space contact Auckland Council. But you can take direct action too.
Make yourself aware of this plant so you can easily identify it and remove it. Do not get the sap on you or in your eyes – if you do, wash your skin immediately. Wash your eyes with warm water or an eyewash.
Right now is the perfect time to kill the plant before the seedpods have a chance to develop fully. Dispose of all parts by putting them in your rubbish. Do not compost it! Stumps should be painted with a weedicide – ask at any garden centre or hardware store for the most appropriate product. For more information check out https://tinyurl.com/M0thPlant
Let’s eliminate this pest now!
Jacqui Knight, aka the Butterfly Lady