Rubber vine

Scientific name: Cryptostegia grandiflora
Declaration status: Class A

Rubber vine is a Weed of National Significance. For more information go to the Australian Government's Department of Environment website.

Rubber vine can be confused with ornamental rubber vine (Cryptostegia madagascariensis), which is also a Class A weed in the Northern Territory (NT) – to be eradicated.

Rubber vine is native to south-western Madagascar.

It has become weedy in other countries throughout East Africa, South-East Asia, the United States and Central and South America.

Rubber vine is widespread in Queensland. There are currently infestations within 5km of the NT/Queensland border. Read more about the current infestation below.

There are isolated infestations in Western Australia.

For more information get the rubber vine identification fact sheet PDF (1.0 MB).

Rubber vine has a potential distribution which could cover all of Northern Queensland, the Top End of the NT and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.

Rubber vine can have all of the following impacts:

  • inhibits and smothers native vegetation and ecosystems
  • invades rivers and creeks
  • strangles vegetation
  • poisonous to livestock
  • can prevent animals accessing water
  • increases the cost of mustering and fencing.

You should use this as a guide. There may be other plants or weeds that look similar.

  • woody, multi-stemmed vine climbing 30m into tree canopies or 1m to 3m as a shrub if unsupported
  • releases a milky sap when broken or cut
  • shiny dark green leaves, opposite pairs 6cm to 10cm long and 3cm to 5cm wide
  • leaf stalk is purplish
  • flowers are white inside and pink to purple outside, 5cm to 6cm long and about 3.5cm wide shaped like a trumpet with five petals
  • seeds form in large pods that grow mostly in pairs
  • large pods are up to 15cm long and 4cm and wide grow in pairs
  • pods can contain more than 300 brown seeds which have long white silky hairs.
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If you are unsure, contact the Weed Management Branch.

If you think you may have seen rubber vine, or have this weed on your property, don't attempt to control it. Contact the Weed Management Branch immediately for assistance.

Rubber vine is on the alert list for environmental weeds. This is a list of weeds that threaten biodiversity and cause other environmental damage.

Last updated: 31 March 2020

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