T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Muehlenbeckia complexa (Scrambling pohuehue)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Muehlenbeckia
Species: M. complexa
Binomial name: Muehlenbeckia complexa
Common names:  Scrambling Pohuehue, Small-leaved pohuehue, scrub pohuehue, Wire vine, Maidenhair creeper.

Muehlenbeckia complexa is a hardy vigorous semi-deciduous New Zealand native vine found naturally on sand dunes and in coastal scrub throughout New Zealand. It is a sprawling coastal creeper/climber that grows into a tangled mass of brown wiry stems with small round leaves and small cream flowers followed later by black seeds held in a fleshy cup. It will form a dense mound up to 2 m wide and it will climb over other plants. It will climb to a height of 5m or more covering trees. In its native environment it plays a key role sealing human and natural disturbances on the forest edge. It also suppresses the growth of introduced weeds, such as blackberry, and promotes increased insect diversity.

It used in coastal restoration is an important stabilising sand dune plant and it also providing a valuable habitat for birds (nesting and shelter) as well as providing shelter for insects and lizards. It has an edible fruit.

A few people think it should be class as a noxious weed and banned from sale as in gardens will smother all types of trees. It is now naturalised in Western Australia.



Flowers of Muehlenbeckia complexa. Fruit on the left, flowers on the right.

Muehlenbeckia complexa flowers

The fruit and flowers

Muehlenbeckia complexa fruit


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information     https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/