Islanders on alert for invasive pest plant

Press Release – Auckland Council

The call is out to Waiheke Island residents to report sightings of a rare and potentially invasive pest plant. Seedling and adult scrambling lily plants (Geitonomplesium cymosum) were located in Rocky Bay in August.29 October 2012

Islanders on alert for invasive pest plant

The call is out to Waiheke Island residents to report sightings of a rare and potentially invasive pest plant.

Seedling and adult scrambling lily plants (Geitonomplesium cymosum) were located in Rocky Bay in August. Auckland Council’s biosecurity team is treating the control of this pest plant as a high priority, and they are calling on the public to help.

The plant is a vigorous climber that forms dense infestations, smothering host plants with wiry green stems up to 12 metres in length. The flowers, visible in spring and summer, are white to purplish-green with bright yellow anthers, appearing in small clusters. They later form green pea-like fruit that turn to black.

”We need to ensure that we eradicate this pest plant, and we are asking people, especially in the Omiha/Rocky Bay area to help. Please check your properties thoroughly and contact us if you suspect scrambling lily is present,” says Biosecurity Officer Deryn Dromgoole.

Displays of this and other pest plants will be held to show islanders what to look out for, at these locations:

• Auckland Council Service Centre, 5-9 November
• Weedbusters’ stand at Rangihoua during the Jassy Dean Garden Safari, on 10-11 November
• At key events during the Waiheke Walking Festival from 27 October – 4 November

The plant is not to be confused with juvenile native jasmine (Parsonsia heterophylla) which looks similar.

Scrambling lily was first found in New Zealand in 2000 at Auckland’s North Shore, then again in 2001 at a site at Rocky Bay.

The recent discovery at a new site indicates there may be further undiscovered mature plants elsewhere in or near Rocky Bay.

If you do see this plant, please contact Deryn Dromgoole at deryn.dromgoole@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

ENDS

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