image description

Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

image description

Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

PRINT DETAILS

QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 28
  • FAMILY Asclepidaceae
  • CATEGORY Shrubs, Vines, & Others

rubbervine (Cryptostegia grandiflora, Cryptostegia madagascariensis)

An ornamental shrub that will aggressively grow over other plants. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated these species as one of Hawai'i's Most Invasive Horticultural Plants. All species in the genus are discouraged from planting.

  • Woody shrubs 6-9 ft tall if self supported, but will climb up to 30 ft high
  • Shiny, dark green leaves 3 in long
  • Flower petals join in a funnel at the base and are white, pink, or purple; triangular seedpods (4 - 6 in long) grow in wing-like pairs
  • Present in landscaped areas on Kaua'i, O'ahu, and Big Island, larger infestations on Maui and Moloka'i; native to Madagascar
  • Each seedpod contains 380-840 seeds, silky hairs on the seeds allow them to spread by wind and water; seeds are also known to float and survive for a month in salt water and still be viable

Harm

  • Aggressively grows with scrambling branches and dominates disturbed forests and woodland communities
  • Climbs tightly around other plants restricting their growth
  • Extremely poisonous: it contains cardiac glycosides, which can interfere with heart operations in humans and animals when eaten
  • Dry dust from this plant can cause violent coughing, swelling of the nose, and blistering of the eyelids
  • Contact with the plant's milky sap can cause burning rashes and blisters

Plant these Instead