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Spindleberry sneaks into Matakana

Published: 19 May 2017

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Spindleberry on the crawl

An uncommon but nasty weed has been spotted in the Rodney region and Auckland Council Biosecurity want locals to keep their eyes peeled.

The invasive vine climbing spindleberry has so far been found at two sites in Matakana. The stems strangle host plants and can also form dense, impenetrable thickets. It can grow to 12m and climb to the top of most canopies, causing them to collapse.

A 'total control' pest plant

Climbing spindleberry is a total control pest plant, which means council will control the weed at their cost, on public or private land.

“We aim to eradicate total control species from Auckland so it’s vital we know about any new sites of climbing spindleberry, so we can control it," says Phil Brown, biosecurity team manager North West.

"It’s important people do not try and control it themselves, as it may spread it further.”

How to spot spindleberry

Climbing spindleberry is deciduous with yellow-orange berries; leaves are serrated and spaced alternatively on the vine and will be turning yellow and dropping at this time of year, making it easier to spot.

The plant grows 5-10cm long and tapers to a point. It is a distinctive looking vine, unlike other species in Auckland, which will help identify it.

If we are able to keep species like this under control before they become widespread, it helps our wider aim of working towards a pest-free Auckland.

What should I do if I see it?

If you think you have seen this species, please do not attempt to control it yourself as it may spread it further.

Please report suspected sightings to Auckland Council Biosecurity on 09 301 0101 or biosecurity@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz with details and a photo if possible.

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Environment