Mignonette vine a messy invader
Mignonette vine is another rampant South American native, once thought to be an attractive ornamental in warmer areas. Its slender, usually reddish, stems climb steadily into medium to high-canopy plants. Fleshy, almost succulent, heartshaped leaves are glossy green and clammy to the touch. Long, slender, drooping flower-heads, consisting of many small, fragrant, cream flowers, are produced from January to April. No fruit is formed, but a telltale sign is the masses of ginger-like tubers that form on old stems.
Mignonette vine is tolerant of a wide range of climatic and soil conditions. The main source of spread is the hard to kill tubers and rhizomatous roots. These are extremely tough and spread via dumped garden waste and both fresh and salt water. Mignonette vine forms long-lived, dense masses in medium to high-canopy trees, smothering the canopy and preventing the establishment of other plants. The fleshy foliage and masses of aerial tubers make the vine extremely heavy and it has been known to topple small trees.
Small vines can be pulled from trees year round. All tubers must be raked up or pulled out if already sprouted. Burn or place all plant parts in plastic bags and leave to ‘cook’ in the sun. Cut large vines to ground level and paint stumps with suitable herbicide, or spray the vine when its in full leaf. Find more control information here.