Also known as
Sweet pea vine, pea vine, Dolichos lignosus
Where is it originally from?
What does it look like?
Evergreen, climbing vine with rounded, moderately hairy stems that are woody towards their base. Leaves are made up of three heart-shaped leaflets (25-55 mm long) that are not usually arranged in a flat plane. Pea-like white, lavender and white, or pink to reddish purple flowers (10-15 mm long) are produced from spring to summer, and develop into boat-shaped seed pods (30-40 mm long) that ripen and split to release the seeds.
Are there any similar species?
Only vine with pea-like flowers and trifoliate leaves.
Why is it weedy?
Rapidly smothers low growing shrubs and regenerating native forest canopy, and eventually takes over completely, shading out the plants underneath. Birds spread seeds when the plant is used as nesting material, and seed can also be carried by water. Tolerates drought or damp conditions, wind, salt, poor soils, and damage, but not shade.
How does it spread?
Seeds drop near parent plants, but most is spread in dumped vegetation or soil and also by sea or fresh water. Gardens, roadsides, vacant land and hedges are all common sources.
What damage does it do?
Smothers and kills most plants from ground level to medium canopy and prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings. Thrives in bare sites and increased nitrogen in impoverished soil types may change the species that can grow there to a high-fertility weed communitye, to the detriment of specialised plants eg. orchids, ferns, herbs, and so on.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Forest margins, coastline, cliffs, shrublands, and limestone areas.
What can I do to get rid of it?
1. Hand pull small plants (all year round). Dispose of at a refuse transfer station or burn.
2. Cut down and paint stump (all year round): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (1g/L) or a product containing 100g picloram+300g triclopyr/L (100ml/L) or 520g/L haloxyfop-P-methyl (200ml/L) or dicamba 50g/L (400ml/L).
3. Dispose of all cut material at a refuse transfer station or burn.
4. Spray (spring-autumn): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (3g/10L + penetrant (knapsack) or 20g/100L + penetrant (spraygun)) or 520g/L haloxyfop-P-methyl (120ml/10L) or dicamba 50g/L (240ml/10L).
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Stumps resprout very quickly, cut stems root at nodes. Seeds produced in moderate quantities. Check at least 6-monthly for seedlings. Plant dense shading species immediately where possible.