Dolichos pea (Dipogon lignosus)
Dolichos pea (Dipogon lignosus )
Family: Fabaceae (peas)
A large woody vine with compound thin-textured leaves consisting of three pointy-tipped leaflets. Clusters of pink or mauve pea flowers are followed by flat pea-like pods.
Preferred habitat and impacts:
Forest edges, usually close to towns or old farms.
Climbs over shrubs and trees, smothering and breaking them down. Also spreads over the ground, smothering native groundcover plants. As a nitrogen fixer, Dolichos pea can increase soil fertility, paving the way for other weeds to invade.
Seed is explosively ejected from pods over several metres, or spread further in dumped garden refuse or contaminated soil. Seed is viable for many years, and germination can be stimulated by disturbance or fire.
The native vine running postman (Kennedia rubicunda ) has similar three-foliolate leaves, but the leaflets are blunt-tipped, the plant is generally smaller, and flowers are red, not pink or mauve.
Hand-pull or dig young plants, scrape and paint old stems. If the situation is appropriate for the use of fire, a hot fire could be used to kill mature plants and stimulate the germination of seedlings, which can then be sprayed or pulled.
When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem, but if fruits are present (even if they are still green), they should be collected as carefully as possible and destroyed by burning or deep burial. Dolichos pea fruits are too small and numerous for this approach to be used with large plants, but the dried plant remains could perhaps be burnt off later. This might destroy some seed, and stimulate buried seed to germinate, so that it can be pulled or sprayed.