Other common names: Madeira vine.
Why it is a pest plant
Mignonette vine thrives in warm, moist climates and fertile soils. It can rapidly climb over and smother native plants, killing them by blocking out light and toppling smaller trees with its thick, heavy blanket of growth. Mignonette vine threatens native trees and shrubs, and is a menace in urban reserves and gardens.
Native to tropical South America, mignonette vine was originally introduced to New Zealand as an ornamental species. Its spread since has generally been through illegal or inappropriate garden waste dumping. The number and size of infestations is increasing.
|Production threat||Environmental threat||Public threat|
- Numerous tiny, fragrant cream flowers in 18cm long racemes (long narrow flower heads).
- Flowering is late summer to early autumn.
- No fruit produced in New Zealand.
- Thick, shiny, slightly heart-shaped leaves.
Responsibility for control
All landowners/occupiers in the Waikato are responsible for controlling mignonette vine on their properties. Mignonette vine is also banned from being sold, propagated, distributed or included in commercial displays.
How to control mignonette vine
- Remove all underground and stem tubers and burn, or take the whole plant to a refuse transfer station. Home composting will not kill mignonette vine.
- Remove every scrap of vine from affected trees and shrubs. Any stems or tubers touching the ground will regrow, so be careful not to drop any when moving them.
- Use a sharp knife to carve away the outside of a stem, removing about a third of its diameter.
- Apply herbicide immediately.
- Gouge tubers carefully and apply herbicide.
- Do not remove the roots from the soil or the treated vine until the stems are quite dry (6-12 weeks, depending on weather).
Cut vine treatment
- Slash vines at ground level and immediately paint herbicide* on both stem sections. Use a squeeze bottle to apply herbicide to avoid splashes.
- Swab hanging ends of the vine and use a dye to keep track of stumps.
- Pull out and rake up all aerial tubers, then burn.
*Note: If picloram gel is used, best results are achieved during periods of active growth (November to April). Cut the stem 50-100mm above the ground before applying, instead of at ground level.
Best results are achieved between January and April.
- Control large infestations by cutting back the top growth to 2m and spraying all leaf surfaces on remaining stems.
- Protect surrounding plants by cutting back any growth covering the vine before spraying.
- Dispose of cut growth at a refuse transfer station.
- Monitor closely and repeat spray as regrowth appears.
Safety when using herbicides
- Follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label.
- Always wear protective clothing.
- Always minimise the risk to your other plants.
- Contact the supplier for further advice.
Summary of herbicides and application methods for control
|Triclopyr/picloram mix||Cut vine treatment.|
|Picloram gels||Cut vine treatment.|
|Glyphosate gels||Cut vine treatment.|
|Glyphosate||Cut vine treatment, stem scraping.|
|Metsulfuron application||Cut vine treatment/spray application.|
|Triclopyr application||Cut vine treatment/spray application.|
|Herbicide rules will apply. You may need to notify neighbours if spraying. The Waikato Regional Plan explains the agrichemical (herbicides) use rule in section 6.2|
After initial control, it’s important to:
- clean out the site again at least annually to control regrowth
- stop weeds invading by replanting with non-pest plants (preferably native plants) once regrowth is no longer a problem.
- For advice and additional information on control methods, call our pest plant staff on freephone 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732).
- Chemical company representatives, farm supply stores and garden centres can also be good sources for advice.
View, download or order the following publications or call our freephone 0800 800 401.
- National Pest Plant Accord (Manual of plants banned from sale, propagation and distribution) ($10.00 plus GST)
- Plant Me Instead! (Plants to use in place of common pest plants) (free)
- Waikato Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) (free) (Section 5.8, page 56)
- Waikato Regional Council pest guide (free)