VIGOROUS CLIMBER: Rubber vine Cryptostegia grandiflora.
VIGOROUS CLIMBER: Rubber vine Cryptostegia grandiflora. Contributed

Rubber vine is widely spread

RUBBER vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) is native to Madagascar, but is now widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

The plant was introduced to Australia as an ornamental shrub in 1875 or earlier.

Infestations of rubber vine are now found throughout the river systems of north Queensland and south along the Queensland coast to the Burnett River, with isolated infestations occurring near Gatton and as far west as the Northern Territory border. Isolated infestations have now been reported in Western Australia.

Rubber vine is a declared Class 2 pest plant under Queensland legislation and a Weed of National Significance (WONS).

Description:

Rubber vine is a vigorous climber with twining, whip-like shoots that can grow unsupported as an untidy, multi-stemmed shrub 1m-2 m high, or it can scramble up to 30 m high in trees. The stems, leaves and unripe pods exude a white, milky sap when broken or cut. Leaves are dark green and somewhat glossy, 6-10cm long, 3-5 cm wide, and in opposite pairs.

Control:

Fire: Infestations can be controlled by burning. Preparing and managing fuel load prior to burning, are critical to the overall success of fire.

It is recommended that you perform two successive annual burns. The first fire will open up the infestation to increase grass growth (fuel load) while killing rubber vine plants. The second fire will clean up the regrowth that occurs after the first fire.

Herbicide control:

Use Agricrop Rubber Vine Spray. There must be little to no rust present as it affects the health of the plant and its ability to take chemical up through its leaves.

Disease and insects:

Rubber vine rust (Maravalia cryptostegiae) is spread mainly by the wind. Yellow spores form under the leaves.

The moth Euclasta whalleyi, prefers plants stressed by either limited soil moisture or high levels of rust infection.

Landcare details:

Tom Quinn Community Centre ,Killer St Bundaberg (off Dr Mays Rd). Thursday and Friday from 10am to 4pm. For further information, phone 0466 884 128.



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