Watch out for unwelcome weeds at your place this Spring. These plants (and others) have been identified as 'plant pests' in Environment Waikato's new Regional Pest Management Strategy. Every pest in the Region is in one of four categories based on its effects, distribution, density and control methods currently available. Four "nasties" below are "eradication pests" because they have limited distributions. Environment Waikato will fund and directly control these plants with the aim to completely clear them from the Region. The others are all well established in the Waikato, so they're in a containment category. The aim is to prevent these pests spreading to new areas and stop adverse effects they may cause. Land occupiers are required to control most 'containment pests' across their entire property, with some exceptions.
Its multiple stems are purplish and hairy when young. The oval leaves are a lighter green on the underside than the top, and may have serrated edges in winter or conditions of low light. They arise from the stem in opposite pairs on short stalks, or stalklets. The tubular flowers, that appear from September to May, are sweet scented and are white but age to yellow. The fruit are small black berries.
Japanese honeysuckle is a perennial climbing vine that is able to tolerate a wide range of soil types, but does best on deep valley soils. It is adapted to low light, understory conditions, and can tolerate frost, wind and drought. It is capable of growing up to 15 metres per year. It is found on forest margins, scrub, wasteland, pine plantations and wetland margins. The fruit and seeds are dispersed by birds, but further spread may be due to illegal dumping of garden refuse, and by roadside maintenance machinery.
The Regional Council's biosecurity team will assist and/or advise on any suspected 'Plant Pests' Details of some of these plants, including photos, can be found under the "Plants" heading at the top of this page.