Why was moth plant introduced into New Zealand?

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  • #13255

    Again in the workshop someone said that Moth plant was introduced into NZ to kill moths? It catchs moths or butterflies with sticky flowers – can any confirm this?

    Angie

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  • #18515

    Swansong
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    “I have witnessed Monarch butterflies and moths with their tongues stick fast and it is almost impossible to rescue them without damaging them.”

    Now that IS nasty. Therefore I would have to agree you wings on the score of not supplying it as BUTTERFLY food. Just to refresh my memory though, I looked at that other thread where it said they were ALSO effectively used for the pillars as a very viable option, albeit a last ditch effort, when there was nothing else to feed hungry pillars. We ALL know a hungry pillar is an unhappy pillar. The best option is obviously then, to grow more milkweed and not propogate this horrid thing. However if I saw it and had starving pillars, and no milkweed left, well itd be a no brainer. Starving pillars will NEVER do in my book and Id get whatever I could.

    With a weed like this though, I would rather think if people did use it or come into contact with it, (if its illegal, then that would probably equate to harvesting it in the wild) they need to be aware of not unwittingly spreading it by inadvertantly chucking out some remaining part of the plant that will just ‘take off’ or something. Some plants are like that.

    Swansong

    #18510

    Thanks, kinda what i thought also.
    What a nasty plant!
    Even more reason not to support it for butterfly food. Why spread a plant that could kill the butterflies or moths.
    Angie

    #18508

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    According to my references the Moth plant (Araujia sericifera) is a native of Argentina and Brazil, and was introduced to N.Z. around 1880 as an ornamental. The flower secretes a sticky nectar which attracts moths, butterflies and bees. When their proboscis contacts the sticky substance it sticks fast and the hapless creature dies a slow death. I have witnessed Monarch butterflies and moths with their tongues stick fast and it is almost impossible to rescue them without damaging them. The cruel plant is another apt name for the weed, which most if not all Regional districts in N.Z. have banned. I would doubt the plant was introduced to catch moths.
    Norm.

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