|Botanical Name||Ficus pumila|
IdentificationInitially a climbing, clinging plant but developing a more shrublike habit as it grows older, with much larger leaves, as illustrated in top photo.
HabitatsVicinity of old or abandoned gardens, in moderate shade to full sun, climbing up buildings, telegraph poles.
Impact to Biota and EcosystemsSpreads fairly slowly but creates a dense, smothering mass as it develops. Covers almost everything in its path, very greatly modifying the habitat if it is left to develop.
Dispersal Routes, Vectors, Infestation SourcesGrows out from old gardens, at the edge of forest reserves for example, or historic gardens. Capable of spreading from garden rubbish dumps at roadsides. Not yet setting fertile seed, but this may change if pollinating wasp establishes.
Slashing, grubbing, hand pulling, and allowing cut material to dry out before disposal.
Take precautions that cut material is given no chance to regrow, eg thrown down a roadside bank.
Spray with Metsulfuron herbicide 5 grams to 10 litres of water in a knapsack sprayer. This recommendation is based on a successful operation on a substantial infestation.
Keep strictly confined to walls or structures where it is used as an ornamental, or avoid its use, anywhere near vulnerable habitat.