Weed of the Week: Madeira vine

Name: Madeira vine

Scientific name: Anredera cordifolia

How to identify the weed: A long-lived vine capable of climbing 30m into the canopy.  Its reddish stems have alternately arranged fleshy, heart-shaped leaves.  When mature, the stems produce warty aerial tubers at each node, which germinate on contact with the ground. This vine produces masses of drooping, cream flower clusters with dozens of tiny star-shaped flowers in each cluster.

Why is the weed a problem: This is a highly invasive plant, capable of quickly smothering and destroying native vegetation.  It is particularly problematic in moist forests, rainforest margins and riparian habitats, where it can quickly engulf the canopy.  This vine deprives native vegetation of light, resulting in death of native species and prevention of regeneration.  It is easily spread by aerial tubers which fall nearby to the parent plants and can be translocated during floods.  It is also capable of spreading short distances through the spread of underground rhizomes.

How to manage the weed: Chemical treatment is the most effective means of control. Hand removal is also effective for small infestations. It is important to collect and bag any aerial tubers and to dispose of these appropriately. Regularly revisit the site to apply a suitable foliar herbicide to any regenerating plants. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.

Interesting facts: In moist environments, Madeira vine can grow up to a metre a week!  It is also suspected of poisoning livestock and the sap may cause irritation.

Anredera cordifolia flowers Anredera-cordifolia