Moth plant

Araujia sericifera

Moth plant Araujia sericifera

This banned plant is also known as kapok vine, moth vine, cruel plant and wild choko vine. The poisonous, rampant, evergreen vines form large, heavy, tangled masses that smother trees and bushes. When cut, the vines bleed milky sap – hence the common name of milk vine or milk weed. The choko-like green pods split open to release thousands of airborne seeds that spread long distances.

How to kill it: Moth plant is poisonous and can cause skin irritations so always wear gloves to protect against contact with sap. Seedlings can be pulled out year round. For large vines, always remove and destroy (burn) the ripe pods first to minimise seeding and seed contamination of clothing. Chop down the vines (this is best done summer/autumn) and coat the stump with Tordon Brushkiller, Banvine, Yates Woody Weedkiller or McGregror’s Weed Out for Woody and Scrub Weeds. Stumps can resprout, so follow up six-monthly and replant bare spots to stop seeding.

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