Madeira Vine

(Anredera cordifolia)

Madiera Vine Flowers,
© Brisbane City Council

​What is Madeira vine?

  • Madeira vine is a succulent climbing vine native to South America, but because of its lush growth form and fragrant white ‘lamb’s tail’ flowers, it has been cultivated as an ornamental plant and now has a worldwide distribution.
  • Madeira vine is present in Tasmania, and is a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of Madeira vine are prohibited in this state.
  • Madeira vine is also a Weed of National Significance (WONS).

How to identify Madeira vine

  • Madeira vine has fleshy, waxy green, heart-shaped leaves which are usually 4-5 cm in length, but can range between 1-15 cm in length and 0.8-11 cm in width.
  • Slender, twining and hairless stems up to 30 m long are initially herbaceous and green/ pinkish/ red in colour but become brown, exfoliated and woody with age, reaching 2-3 cm in diameter.
  • The flower cluster is fragrant, greenish-white to cream-white and resembles a ‘lamb’s tail’, with numerous small flowers along a drooping, central stem that is 6-65 cm long.
  • For further information or help in identifying Madeira vine, refer to the Commonwealth government site, Weeds of National Significance – Madeira vine. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 for help.

Impacts of Madeira vine

  • Madeira vine is considered a serious environmental threat due to its capacity to degrade intact native forests with its ability
    Madeira Vine Leaves, © Qld Govt
    to readily reproduce by means of large numbers of persistent reproductive tubers that grow from the roots and stems, or by sprouting from either severed stems or from rhizomes, making management difficult.
  • Growing prolifically at rates of up to 1 m per week in high-light environments, in areas of significant infestation Madeira vine can climb 40 m into the canopy, smothering and collapsing mature trees. When unsupported, it forms thick mats of groundcover that overwhelm low-lying vegetation and inhibit natural regeneration.

Madeira vine in Tasmania

  • Madeira vine has naturalised in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia where isolated areas of infestation are expanding. Although occurrences are less common in Victoria and Tasmania, Madeira vine is still considered a serious threat to rock outcrop vegetation in Victoria and has spread significantly within the East Gippsland region and around some urban areas.
  • Although currently only limited locations of Madeira vine are known in Tasmania, Australian modelling work indicates Madeira vine has the potential for range increases in all states and territories.

Legal status of Madeira vine in your area?

  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with Madeira vine are laid out in the Statutory Weed Management Plan for Madeira vine.
  • For details regarding distribution of Madeira vine, including whether your area falls in an eradication (‘Zone A’ municipality), or containment (‘Zone B’ municipality), refer to the Tables and information provided in Section 12, ‘Management of Madeira vine by municipality’, in the Statutory Weed Management Plan for Madeira vine.
See also
Statutory Management Plan for Madeira vine

Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Weeds of National Significance – Madeira vine
Pest Genie

Madeira Vine Control Guide


  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Get in early - for new infestations, eradicate before the plants reach the flowering stage: once plants begin seeding, control becomes more difficult and expensive;
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see Herbicides for Madeira vine control for more information);
  • Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your weed problem crosses property boundaries;
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;
  • Use a combination of different control methods; and
  • To reduce re-infestation, restore the disturbed habitat with new plants such as native species, non-invasive garden species.


  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't introduce Madeira vine to Madeira vine-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
  • Don't allow Madeira vine to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't rely on just one control method; and
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential.

Spread of Madeira vine

  • Madeira vine most commonly reproduces and spreads via asexual tubers formed on the roots and stems. Prolific numbers of aerial tubers are produced throughout the year, which drop to the ground when mature or in response to stress.
    Madeira Vine Aerial Tubers,
    © Qld Govt
  • Madeira vine is also capable of shooting from sections of severed vine.
  • Dispersal occurs primarily via human spread such as cultivation for ornamental purposes, disposal of green waste in bushland or roadsides, or by machinery.
  • It is also capable of spreading distances via gravity and water movement from ridges and watersheds or during floods.
  • Mammals and birds may also play a minor role in localised spread.
  • Seed set and germination is believed to be rare in Australia, believed to only occur under ideal environmental and seasonal conditions.

Successful control strategies

  • Madeira vine is difficult to control and management programs typically last for many years.
  • Successful control requires exhaustion of the tuber bank, requiring commitment to regular, long-term follow up.
  • Disturbance caused by control work  can stimulate particularly vigorous vine growth and if management isn’t carried out appropriately it may lead to a more significant problem.
  • Identify locations where Madeira vine occurs as isolated plants or sparse populations, as these are relatively easy to tackle, and early management can reduce significant future impacts.
  • Follow-up work in the first year is particularly delicate as care must be taken to only treat the Madeira vine seedlings amongst the native seedlings.
  • Ensure that activities do not spread the seed and tubers or disturb ground cover. Ensure all equipment is cleaned and checked for any Madeira vine before moving to un-infested areas.
  • Include monitoring of native plant regeneration as well as weed response.

Physical removal

  • Physical removal is difficult because of the extent of underground tubers and ease of fragmentation of the vine and root system. However, it may be practical at smaller or immature infestation sites or as a follow-up to remove persistent tubers.
  • Tubers and vegetative material must be disposed of appropriately, as they will regrow in contact with soil. Double bag plants and tubers in non-biodegradable plastic bags and dispose of them in landfill waste.
  • If cut, vines may remain ‘alive’ in the tree canopy for up to two years, surviving on the aerial tuber resources. Cutting and pulling the vines from the canopy is not generally recommended because it results in a rain of viable tubers and may be dangerous if dead and dying branches are pulled down with the vine. However, if necessary, (perhaps due to extreme stress on the host plant), tarpaulins should first be laid on the ground to collect as many of the aerial tubers as possible.

Biological control

  • Biological control is the use of a living species, usually an insect, mite or disease, to control a weed.
  • Biological control will not eradicate an unwanted plant species, but may be used in conjunction with other control methods.
  • The leaf feeding beetle Plectonychna correntina has been approved for release in Australia to control Madeira vine, with distribution having occurred in New South Wales and Queensland. At many sites the beetle has established and significant leaf feeding damage has been observed. There are no plans for it to be released in Tasmania at this time.

Chemical control

  • Herbicides for Madeira vine control can be effective if they are carefully chosen and selectively applied. The main application techniques are scrape and paint and foliar spray; (stem injection cut stump and basal barking are less commonly used).
  • Best results are achieved during the warmer months, however, Madeira vine grows year-round and a primary herbicide application during late winter can knock the plant back enough to gain easy access and achieve better control during the following spring and summer months.
  • A number of herbicides are registered for use on Madeira vine in Tasmania, see Herbicides for Madeira vine Control for more information.
  • Scrape-paint application - suitable for all basal stem sizes, this approach provides the safest management option in sensitive environments, but is extremely labour intensive as every vine must be treated individually.
  • Scrape sections of the vine down to the white fibrous layer and immediately paint the exposed area with concentrated herbicide. Repeat the process as high up the stem as can be reached and, where possible, scrape areas on both sides of the stem. Be careful not to ringbark the stem as this will halt the spread of herbicide through the plant.
  • Foliar spray - traditionally, foliar spray has been used as a secondary treatment to manage prostrate growth, (growing along the ground), and seedlings once the primary stems have been treated using scrape and paint techniques.
  • However, some practitioners now recommend the use of foliar spray as a primary treatment, (followed by scrape and paint of remaining living stems), or as a standalone method of treating the plant. This approach has been developed to increase the cost effectiveness of management, but does carry the risk of off-target damage. Decisions on the applicability of this management approach should be made on a site-by site basis, considering vegetation composition and sensitivity of the site, as well as the skills of those applying the herbicide.
  • Handheld equipment (handgun and hose or knapsack), is useful to spot spray prostrate stems, seedlings and regrowth.
  • The use of a dye is recommended to identify which areas have been treated.
  • Application of both selective and non-selective herbicides must be done with extreme care, following label or permit instructions and by an experienced operator.

Herbicides for Madeira Vine Control

These herbicide recommendations are made subject to the product being registered for that purpose under relevant legislation. It is the user's responsibility to check that registration or an off-label permit covers the proposed use. Always read the herbicide label.

If in doubt, visit the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website.

Only herbicides registered for use in pasture and non-cropping situations are listed in the following table. Care must be taken in using herbicides as non-target plants contacted may be harmed. For recommendations in specific crops consult an agronomist.

Wetting agents

Carefully consult the product label for specific directions regarding the use of wetting agents or adjuvants.

Waterways and wetlands

Be careful! Many herbicides can cause damage to waterways and wetlands. Check the herbicide label directions carefully before use near waterways and wetlands. For more information see Guidelines for Safe and Effective Herbicide Use Near Waterways.

Herbicide Brands and Concentrations

Herbicides are referred to by the active chemical ingredient in the following table. The product trade names in this publication are supplied on the understanding that no preference between equivalent products is intended and that the inclusion of a product does not imply endorsement by DPIPWE over any other equivalent product from another manufacturer. Information on available brands containing the herbicide you require should be obtained from a reputable herbicide supplier or the APVMA website.

There may be a number of products with the same active ingredient some with alternate formulations (concentration) registered for control of a weed eg: Glyphosate 360g/L, Glyphosate 450g/L may be registered for use on the same weed. Alternate formulations such as these will have a different application rate. Always check the label.

Drill and Fill, Cut stump, Basal bark and Scrape and paint applications

(active ingredient)
​Example of commercial product (concentration of active ingredient)​Application rate of commercial product
​Withholding periodComments
*Picloram (44.7g/L) +
aminopyralid (4.7g/L)​
​Vigilant II®​Apply gel undiluted 3-5 mm thick​Not required when used as directed.​Cut stump and apply immediately.

Suitable for non-crop situations.

Apply at time of active growth.
​Glyphosate** 360 g/L (where product has an aquatic registration)​Weedmaster Duo 360 g/L
Roundup Biactive® 360 g/L
​Undiluted​Not required when used as directed.​In accordance with APVMA permit PER84775.

For scrape and paint or cut stump techniques.

*Note: picloram remains active in soil for extended periods and may leach into groundwater.

Foliar spray:  spot spray, knapsack application

(active ingredient)
Example of commercial product (concentration of active ingredient)​Application rate of commercial product
(With water unless indicated)
​Withholding periodComments
​Glyphosate** 360 g/L (where product has an aquatic registration)​Weedmaster Duo 360 g/L Roundup Biactive® 360 g/L​10-13 ml/L plus adjuvant ONLY in accordance with label as required​Not required when used as directed.​In accordance with APVMA permit PER84775.

For spot spraying of regrowth and seedlings.

Non residual, so will not provide ongoing control of tuber germination. A site may therefore require additional follow-up applications to exhaust the soil tuber bank.
​Glyphosate** 540 g/L (where product has an aquatic registration)​Roundup Power Max® 540 g/L​7 ml/L plus adjuvant ONLY in accordance with label as required​Not required when used as directed.
​Fluroxypyr 333 g/L​Starane TM Advanced​300 ml/L in 100 L​7 days
​For spot spraying of regrowth and seedlings.

Non residual, so will not provide ongoing control of tuber germination. A site may therefore require additional follow-up applications to exhaust the soil tuber bank.
​Triclopyr 300 g/L + *Picloram 100 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L*​Grazon Extra (300 g/L, 100 g/L, 8 g/L)​400 ml/100 L​Not required when used as directed.​In accordance with APVMA permit PER84775.

More selective and residual herbicides such as these may provide better long-term results for foliar spray because of the increased impact on tubers.
​Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/Kg**​Associate®, Metsulfuron 600 WG Herbicide​10-15 g/ 100 L plus wetting agent ONLY in accordance with label as required​Not required when used as directed.​In accordance with APVMA permit PER84775

*Note: picloram remains active in soil for extended periods and may leach into groundwater.

** These products are not registered for this use in Tasmania and will not be mentioned on products labels, however a permit (number - PER84775) issued by the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority allows this specific use. If using this method and herbicide you will require a copy of this permit. For further information on permit details visit the APVMA website.

Important Disclaimer
To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.