What does it look like?
High climbing vine with tough, hairy, twining, running stems with tough fibrous roots without rhizomes. Leaves (5-18 x 5-16 cm) are usually 3-lobed and silky-hairy underneath. From late spring to early winter, groups of 3-12 deep blue-purple flowers that are pink at the base and wither in the midday sun are produced. Little or no seed is produced in New Zealand.
Why is it a problem?
Very fast growth rate, longevity, dense smothering habit and ability to climb to top of high canopy makes this the dominant vine wherever it occurs. Tolerates hot to cool temperatures, and damp to dry conditions.
Climbs over all other species, ultimately killing them. Can replace forest with low weedy blanket
How much do we have of it?
It is around in localized spots. Langs Beach has Morning Glory along the road side which is invading native bush.
Morning Glory spreads by creeping stems and from fragments so often is problematic at illegal dump sites throughout our Piroa – Brynderwyn Ranges area.
How does it spread?
Creeping stems spread this plant locally, and stem fragments are moved in dumped vegetation.
What can we DO about it?
The best thing to do is to ensure you don’t introduce it to your property, deliberately or accidentally, and ensure that you dispose of your garden waste responsibly if you have it at your place. Controlling infestations thoroughly when small and following up until eradicated will also save significant effort, focusing first on keeping it out and away from bush areas. For large well established infestations control is still achievable, the approach just needs to be tactical, moving in a rolling front and undertaking the necessary follow up to ensure complete kill at the retreating margin.
Firstly establish that the species is not a valued native plant.
1. Hand pull, dig out roots (all year round). Dispose of roots and stems at a refuse transfer station or bury deeply.
2. Cut down and paint stump (all year round): glyphosate (100ml/L) or metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (1g/L).
3. Cut vines at waist height (summer-autumn) and spray foliage below: glyphosate (10ml/L + penetrant) or metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (2g/10L + penetrant (knapsack) or 20g/100L + penetrant (spraygun). Follow up to check that slashed stems have not resprouted.
Because no seed is set, this weed can be eliminated from a site very successfully. Limited follow up required. Strict weed hygiene is key as all cut plant material can reprout. Follow up to check that slashed stems have not resprouted.
Eliminate from bush edges and dumps.
Special disposal notes: Only really spreads vegetatively from stem fragments as it doesn’t usually seed in NZ. Hang up cut vegetation off the ground or leave up in vegetation to dry out. Dispose of other cut waste to refuse transfer station. Practice strict weed hygiene
Ensure that the species is not a valued native plant. Native species that are similar include: railway creeper (I. cairica, I. palmate) which has leaves divided into 5-7 finger-like lobes, mauve flowers 5-8 cm diameter, grows in coastal areas and is uncommon, pink bindweed or convolvulus (Calystegia sepium) which has extensive rhizomes, arrow-shaped leaves, flowers pink with white stripes, and is very common, shore bindweed (Calystegia soldanella) which is usually prostrate, has smaller, thick, semi-succulent leaves, 3-5 cm pink flowers, and is coastal, and Calystegia tuguriorum which has slender, much branched, climbing stems, roundish or kidney-shaped leaves, flowers white or pink, 4-6 cm diameter, and grows in lowland forest margins all over New Zealand.
CAUTION: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.
Photos of blue morning glory