Rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) is a highly invasive perennial woody shrub or vine that is widely distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. C. grandiflora can grow unsupported 1-2 m high, or it can scramble up to 30m high in trees. It has grey-brown stems that are covered in raised spots. C. grandiflora leaves are thick , leathery, glossy dark green on the top surface and pale and dull on the bottom. The stems, leaves and unripe seed pods exude a white, milky sap when broken or cut.
C. grandiflora flowers primarily in the summer, producing white, purple or pink colored tube-shaped flowers. Green or brown pairs of pod-like fruits containing flat brown seeds are formed between the summer and late autumn months.
All parts of
C. grandiflora contain cardiac glycosides. Cardiac glycosides inhibit the cellular Na+/K+-ATPase which enhances cardiac inotropy (contractility) and slows the heart rate.
- cardiac arrhythmias
- cold extremities
- difficulty breathing
- sudden death
MANUAL CONTROL: Rubber vine can be effectively controlled by burning. Two successive annual burns are recommended.
MECHANICAL CONTROL: For scattered or medium-density infestations, slashing the vines close to ground level is found to be effective. For dense infestations, during the winter, stick-raking or blade-ploughing reduces the bulk of the infestation. Pasture should be sown and windrows burned to kill residual seed. Follow-up treatment is essential.
CHEMICAL CONTROL: Rubber vine can be effectively controlled with herbicides. Aerial application, foliar spray, basal bark spray, cut stump treatment, and soil applications.