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Why it is a pest plant
Cathedral bells (Cobaea scandens) is a vigorous, fast growing, perennial climber with stems up to 10 m long.
The vines are long-lived and can grow over trees and shrubs forming a dense canopy, smothering native plants.
It can grow well under a range of environmental conditions including shade, drought, wind, salt and differing soil types. The seeds are wind dispersed, but the plant is most commonly spread from dumping garden waste or soil movement. It is currently largely restricted to a few sites adjacent to Waikato River, at Karapiro and Hamilton city.
How to recognise this pest plant
- Flowers are light to deep purple, green at first, bell-shaped and 6-7 cm long. Flowers between December and May.
- Fruit is oval shaped, with green seed capsules, about 5.5-8.5 cm long and contain broad, winged seeds.
- Leaves consist of three pairs of oval leaflets, including a small basal pair. Each leaflet is about 4-12 cm long by 2-5 cm wide. They are dark green above, whitish underneath and have a brown stalk. Compound leaves are arranged alternately on stem.
Responsibility for control
Waikato Regional Council is responsible for controlling this plant. Waikato Regional Council’s Regional Pest Management Strategy declares cathedral bells total control pest plants for the entire Waikato region.
Cathedral bells is banned from sale, circulation, distribution and commercial display.
How to control cathedral bells
Do not attempt to control cathedral bells yourself.
If you see this pest plant on your property, call 0800 BIOSECURITY (0800 246 732) to report it to your local biosecurity pest plant contractor.
For further advice contact your nearest biosecurity pest plant contractor on 0800 BIOSECURITY (0800 246 732).
For more information on what we do phone Waikato Regional Council's freephone 0800 800 401.
For more information on pest plants check out the Weedbusters website.
View our Waikato Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS).
'What makes a pest a pest? - A guide to Waikato's pest management future' pick up, download or order for free from our offices.
'Plant me instead - Plants to use in place of common pest plants' pick up or order for free from our offices.
'National Pest Plant Accord Manual' pick up or order for $10 from our offices, or view it online for free.
Althought this content has been prepared in good faith from a number of sources believed to be reliable, Waikato Regional Council does not give any guarantee that all information contained is accurate or complete, or that advice given will be appropriate in all circumstances.