Forum Topic

  1. Muehlenbeckia complexa var. complexa

  2. We have a regenerating area of bush which has Muehlenbeckia Complexa climbing freely over rocks ground and up trees. This is on the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula. Will this 'strangle' other native species, or should we try to remove it from the trunks.

  3. My understanding is that Muehlenbeckia acts as a'plaster' on wounds made in the forest edge or canopy. It stops wind from whistling through and drying out the interior. However, it can smother newly planted, and sometimes even more mature, trees - so it should be assessed on a case by case basis.

  4. I regard M. complexa as a weed in some circumstances, notably when it gets into a canopy where it can completely block light from its supporting tree. The stems can become very tight around the trunk of the tree and I've even seen the stems grown over by the tree. But it is an important refuge for lizards and the caterpillars of copper butterflies feed on the leaves. Managing it is best done with a scrub bar (slashers just bounce off), and by the removal of potential climbing supports including grass and the lower limbs of trees. Once a canopy is established the Muehlenbeckia fails to recover. Sprays seem to be completely ineffective but might well kill the support plant. So get rid of some but leave some too.

  5. Just wondering, is the species being commented about here actually M. australis?, which is a much larger liane, and more likely to climb into a canopy. Personally I feel the ecological advantage/contribution of any Muehlenbeckia sp. far out weighs the disadvantages.

  6. In Hawkes Bay I've seen both species covering or considerably damaging canopies, and in the case of M. complexa in Te Mata Park I have had to exercise some control both to protect established trees and to allow small ones to survive. Having said that, I've planted some too.

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