Araujia sericifera

  • Araujia sericifera close up of flowers
  • Araujia sericifera
  • Araujia sericifera
  • Araujia sericifera
  • Araujia sericifera
  • Araujia sericifera
  • Araujia sericifera
  • Northcote, Auckland. Mar 2007.
  • Araujia sericifera
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Species

Araujia sericifera

Etymology

Araujia: Named after 19th century Portugese statesman and plant collector, Antonio de Matos Araujo.

Common Name(s)

moth plant, moth vine

Family

Asclepiadaceae

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

Habitat

Terrestrial. coastal, lowland cliff, bluff, waste places and other modified habitats (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Features

Rampant, evergreen vine to 10 m tall with smelly, milky sap. Stems twining, flexible, tough, downy, woody near base. Leaves opposite, 3-12 x 2-6 cm, dark green, hairless and dull above, greyish-downy below. Flowers bell-shaped, 20-25 mm diam, white, occ with pale pink streaks, usually in 2-4 clusters, Dec-May (can trap and kill insects). Distinctive pear-shaped choko-like pod, 10 x 7 cm, thick and leathery, containing kapok-like pulp, splits open dispersing many black, thistle down-like seeds.

Similar Taxa

The sticky sap is useful when identifying seedlings and tuberous roots. When fruiting the large seed pods are unmistakable.

Flowering

December, January, February, March, April, May

Main Flower Colour

White

Fruiting

Autumn and winter (ARC, 1998).

Year Naturalised

1888

Origin

S Brazil, Argentina

Reason For Introduction
Ornamental

Life Cycle Comments
Perennial. Seeds are viable for at least 5 years (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Seed
Freely sets seed, 400 per follicle (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Dispersal
Wind (Timmins & MacKenzie 1995).

Poisonous plant:
The white latex substance in all parts of this plant is poisonous.


This page last updated on 5 Dec 2010

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