What is it?
This Chinese climber is loved for its strong scent and delicate white flowers, and hated for its tough, vigorous, twining stems that rapidly swamp everything it grows over.
Why is it wicked?
Jasmine grows rapidly over the forest floor, and up into the canopy, where it forms dense, long-lived masses that strangle and smother the plants they grow over. Jasmine's stems layer profusely and runners spread long distances. It's highly shade-tolerant, can flower under full canopy, and tolerates a wide range of conditions. It's spread mainly by fragments dumped into the edges of natural areas.
What can I you do?
Jasmine is extremely difficult to kill. You can cut the stems and swab the cut stumps with herbicide, but because stems root at every leaf node, you need to make sure that you have located every place where it is in contact with the ground to prevent it resprouting. Make sure all cut material is taken to your refuse transfer station for disposal; do not try to mulch or compost it. Check out www.weedbusters.org.nz for more control information.
Try native clematis (Clematis paniculata) or akakiore (Parsonsia heterophylla) with their masses of white flowers, or star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) for white flowers and a lovely scent.
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