Moth Plant a menacing weed in Kerikeri
Moth plant (Araujia sericifera) is a particularly noxious vine with whitish/pink flowers (image above) which is flowering now and often visible in hedges or even on high Kerikeri windbreaks. Flowering betrays this stealthy vine. The flowers lead to choko-like pods with 500 to 1,000 seeds, in April to June. The seeds are like dandelion seeds (image below) and can drift in the wind over long distances. The moth plant will smother native trees, block light for other plants and has colonised and will infest widespread areas in Kerikeri. The sticky, milky sap irritates the skin and can trap insects.
If it is in your hedge or windbreak please be a good neighbour and remove it now before it forms its pods; wear long sleeves and gloves. Educate your neighbours as not everyone is aware of the problem. If everyone does a bit we will be better able to manage this aggressive invader.
See the NRC website for more detail and advice on how to dispose of pods. The website has details and pictures of all weeds that are commonly found in Northland.