This is an absolute gardener’s NIGHTMARE! I found this parasitic plant growing in my vegetable garden several weeks ago. I recognized it as an invasive plant because it was wrapping it’s tendril type strands around anything it touched like grape vine tendrils and when ever it touched another plant it formed suckers on the host plant for nurishment. The “vine” grows about a foot a day and doesn’t have roots, as it’s sucking nutrition from the other plants. It is also extremely brittle, so if you pull it, you leave behind remnants that will readily grow.
The color is of the plant is actually quite beautiful, but don’t let this fool you. If you have it in your yard, it is VERY difficult to eradicate, as you have to carefully find every centimeter of it or it will grow back. I tried as carefully as possible to get it all out 4 weeks ago an then did not water that area, hoping it would dry out and die, but since other vegetables are nearby it’s difficult to not water at all. After 2 weeks I did find additional growth from pieces I missed. It hase recently rained quite heavy here so I will have to go out again and crawl around to find ANY growth before it spreads.
I believe this is the same plant that I saw a documentary some years back that the locals in the hills (Appalachia or other similar US territory) were spreading around willingly as they had a lore that if you spread it around you would find a suitable husband. So, needless to say it was growing and spreading unchecked.
I have also seen this used in elaborate leis made in Hawaii for the horses in the annual Kamehameha Day Parade. It was harvested from the mountains and carefully handled to create thick ropes of the delicate yellow orange tendrils. It made a very stunning addition to a fern, flower neckpiece, but the idea of this invasive plant growing rampant in the mountains of such a lush tropical area as Hawaii is spine chilling.
SO, if anyone has seen this growing, I warn you that it’s quite invasive and you must take great care to remove it. It’s like bindweed, but doesn’t need soil to grow.
-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.