Madeira Vine

BUSH INVADER

Anredera cordifolia

family: BASELLACEAE

Description

  • Aggressive, rampant twining perennial climber from South America, which races to the canopy, curtaining all vegetation with its thick rope-like stems and dense foliage.
  • Leaves are heart-shaped, hairless, shiny, thick and fleshy. Stalks are often reddish.
  • Small tubular flowers, greenish-cream to white, droop in long fragrant sprays ('lamb's tails') through summer and autumn.
  • Stems bear thousands of long-lived aerial tubers which form clusters high in the vine. Underground tubers, which may be football sized, grow on rhizomes up to a metre deep.

Dispersal

Grows from both kinds of tuber and from pieces of rhizome. Rarely produces seed. Often dumped on bushland edges. Both tubers and rhizomes can be washed down waterways.

Impact on Bushland

A devastating weed which invades moist forest and rainforest edges, blankets the ground and envelops the canopy, restricts light, encourages disease, prevents germination of native plants. Weight can break down trees. Helps to destroy rainforest.

Distribution

Lower Blue Mountains.

Alternative Planting

Native Plants
Five-leaf Water Vine (Cissus hypoglauca)
Twining Purple Pea (Hardenbergia violacea)
Wonga Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana)
Dusky Coral Pea (Kennedia rubicunda)
Old Man's Beard (Clematis aristata)
Wombat Berry (Eustrephus latifolius)

Exotic alternatives
Climbing Hydrangea
(Hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris)

Control

A long, difficult process. Spread tarps to catch tubers, pull down vine or knock down tubers. Bag them. Or scrape and paint stems without cutting.

Picture of Madeira Vine
Springwood: Madeira Vine blankets the ground and the canopy, prevents germination, breaks down trees, and helps to destroy rainforest.
photo: © Barbara Harley

Picture of Madeira Vine flowers

Madeira Vine's long sprays of tubular flowers resemble lambs' tails.
photo: © Barbara Harley

Picture of Madeira Vine leaves

Leaves are heart-shaped, glossy, hairless; leaf stalks may be red.
photo: © Barbara Harley

Picture of Madeira Vine tubers

Aerial tubers resemble ginger root. Madeira Vine regrows from fallen tubers, and from underground tubers: both must be destroyed.
photo: © Barbara Harley