Rubber vine is a vigorous climber which can grow either as a many stemmed shrub 1-2 meters in height or scrambling up to 30 meters in trees. It was originally introduced into Australia as an ornamental shrub during the 1800s. Rubber vine spreads through seeds borne by water or wind. It invades riparian vegetation along waterways hillsides and pastures and is poisonous to stock if eaten. Rubber Vine is a class 2 declared pest in Queensland.
The Gregory River Rubber Vine Project was a Reef Catchments initiative to develop an awareness and control program for the management of Rubber Vine and help maintain the Queensland State Rubber Vine containment line.
The project is being delivered by Whitsunday Catchment Landcare who, in partnership with Whitsunday Regional Council, has delivered rubber vine awareness sessions and a rubber vine control field day showcasing best practice control techniques and cost analysis of control options.
The project has also provided funding for the control of 32 hectares of rubber vine. This has also been matched through the Whitsunday Regional Council’s Weed Partnership program to control an additional 32 hectares.
The Rubber Vine plant
- Rubber Vine stems, leaves and unripe pods expel a milky sap when broken or cut.
- Leaves are in opposite and dark green, glossy 6-10 cm long and 3-5 cm wide.
- Flowers: five petals ranging from white to light purple in colour arranged in a funnel shape.
- Seed pods 10-12 long, ridged and grow in pairs at the end of a short stalk.
- The seed pods contain 450 brown seeds. These seeds each have a tuft of long white silky hairs.
The State of Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation 2011, rubber vine fact sheet.