Basellaceae (Madeira vine)
Also known as
Madeira vine, Boussingaultia baselloides, Boussingaultia cordifolia
Where is it originally from?
What does it look like?
Perennial, climbing, hairless, woody vine with fleshy rhizomes and slender, usually reddish stems with small irregular 'warty' aerial tubers. Fleshy to succulent heart-shaped leaves (2-11 x 2-10 cm) are glossy, clammy to the touch, and arranged alternately on the stems. Slender, drooping flowerheads (18 cm long) of small, numerous, fragrant cream flowers are produced from January to April, but no fruit is formed.
Are there any similar species?
Senecio angulatus and S. mikanioides.
Why is it weedy?
Tubers are very hard to kill and are saltwater-tolerant. Grows at a moderate rate but forms heavy, long-lived masses that dominate medium to high canopy. Tolerates drought and damp conditions, wind, salt, many soil types, moderate shade and damage.
How does it spread?
No seed is produced in New Zealand, with all spread by dumped or waterborne (fresh or sea water) tubers and rhizomes. Even tiny fragments of tuber resprout. Common sources are gardens.
What damage does it do?
Smothers all plants to medium to high canopy, preventing the establishment of native plant seedlings. Combined weight of aerial tubers can topple small trees.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Low and disturbed forest and margins, gullies, shrublands, coastline, river systems, and streamsides, especially in warmer areas.
What can I do to get rid of it?
1. Pull plant (all year round), burn all parts or place all parts in black plastic bags and leave to 'cook' in sun.
2. Cut down and paint stump (all year round): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (1g /L) or glyphosate (100ml/L) or a product containing 100g picloram+300g triclopyr/L (100ml/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (100ml/L) or triclopyr 120g/L (500ml/L). Pull out and rake up all aerial tubers, burn on site or 'cook' in black plastic bags left in the sun.
3. Spray (spring to autumn): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (3g) + glyphosate (100ml) + penetrant per 10L (knapsack) or metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (30g) + glyphosate (1L) + penetrant per 100L (spraygun).
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Resprouts continuously from fallen tubers and stumps, occasionally from stems. Do not dump aerial tubers in the sea, as they sprout wherever they wash up.