sericifera Brot.][Bayer code: none][CDFA list: B] Photographs
Map of Distribution
moth catcher, Araujia sericofera Brot. (orthographic error),
Araujia albens (Martius) Don, Physianthus albens
Martius, Araujia hortorum Fourn., Schubertia albens.
DESCRIPTION:Fast-growing noxious perennial vine with
milky juice. Plants often thrive in citrus groves, competing with
trees for water, nutrients, and light. Plants grow extremely fast.
Vines can grow over tree canopies within a couple of years and
kill individual branches by girdling. Significant infestations
reduce fruit yields and interfere with tree maintenance. Introduced
from Central South America (Peru) as an ornamental.
twining, slender, woody, sometimes branched, typically
less than 12 m (40 ft) long, +/- glabrous but new growth covered
with short white hairs. Leaves opposite, narrowly triangular,
bases truncate to slightly lobed (cordate), 5-12 cm long, 2-6
cm wide, spaced 7-18 cm along stems, evergreen or partially deciduous
in cooler climates. Upper surfaces glabrous, glossy dark green.
Lower surfaces gray-green, minutely pitted, densely covered with
minute hairs. Petioles 1.5-3 cm long.
and UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES:Not described as rhizomatous, but under certain
conditions severed pieces of underground stems or crowns
can produce new roots and shoots.
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clusters (cymes) 2-10-flowered, develop from just below
leaf axils. Flowers fragrant, waxy white, 2-3 cm long,
~ 1-2 cm wide. Petals fused, 5-lobed, bell- to funnel-shaped.
Sepals 5, fused near the base, green, erect, leaf-like. Stamens
fused into a filament column with appendages and anther
head. Appendages separate, solid with convex margins. Insect
and SEEDS:Pods narrowly ovoid, pendant, 8-15 cm long,
4-5 cm in diameter, pale gray-green, open to release numerous
seeds at maturity. Seed dark brown to black, narrowly ovate to
elliptic, 5-6 mm long, with numerous silky white, deciduous hairs
attached at the apex (coma). Surface minutely reticulate and sporadically
HABITAT:Citrus groves, orchards, landscaped areas, gardens, disturbed
sites. Tolerates poor, wet, or dry soils and light to moderate
Coast Ranges (Mendocino, Sonoma cos.), San Francisco Bay region,
Central Valley (especially Sacramento and Fresno cos.), South
Coast Ranges, South Coast region (especially Ventura, sw San Bernardino,
nw Riverside, ne Orange cos.); Florida. To 400 m (1300 ft).
by seed and vegetatively from
severed underground stems or crowns. Stems can grow 6-9 m
(20-30 ft) in one season. Seeds disperse with wind. Seed production
is prolific, except in areas where temperatures drop below freezing
in early fall. Seed viability is typically high (~90%), but longevity
is undocumented. Plants produce seed the first season.
FAVORING/DISCOURAGING SURVIVAL:Improper discing can severe and disperse underground
stems or crowns of mature plants, producing new vines. Young seedlings
do not tolerate light cultivation.
are a few native vines in the milkweed family (Cynanchum, Matelea,
Sarcostemma species). Unlike bladderflower, the native
vines grow in desert habitats and have flowers less
than 1 cm long.
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Bladderflower is a fast growing
perennial vine introduced from South America. It is primarily found in citrus
groves, orchards, and disturbed areas. Severe infestations may cause extensive
losses by girdling tree branches and forming a dense canopy in the treetops,
which increases competition for light, and reduces yields. Twining vines may
also interfere with pruning practices. Seed production is prolific and viability
may be greater than 90%. Seeds germinate in the spring and may produce a 20-30
ft vine the first year. Vines are capable of blooming in late summer and producing
viable seed the first year. Seed dispersal is aided by two factors: the height
of release from the canopy crown, and the long tuft of silky hairs attached
to the seed apex. Both facilitate wind dispersal, a characteristic typical
of many milkweeds in the Asclepiadaceae. There is very little information
on the control of bladderflower. Eliminating seed production is critical to
prevent rapid spread. Severing the vines at the base during early flowering
may be effective. However, established vines resprout from the crown, and
possibly from roots and underground stems. Tillage effectively controls seedlings,
but may also spread severed roots to new areas. Tillage equipment should be
cleaned after use in infested areas. There is little information on effective
herbicides for bladderflower control. Spot treatments of glyphosate (2% v/v)
to young resprouts have been effective for controlling other milkweeds. However,
retreatment may be necessary for complete root kill. The most effective timing
for treatment is during the bud to early flowering stage.
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