Creeping Pōhuehue

Muehlenbeckia axillaris

Creeping Pōhuehue / Sprawling Wire Vine

ABOUT:
A low-growing mat, evergreen and hardy. Maintains lush green look with little care.

IDENTIFY:     
20cm high x 1m wide. Not invasive like other Muehlenbeckia species. Forms a dense mat of small, glossy leaves. Tiny scented, white flowers in summer develop into tiny, fleshy white fruit.

USE:
Perfect as a groundcover in exposed places, or anywhere with sufficient light. Looks great creeping around rocks and statues, or spilling over banks and retaining walls. Good also for stabilising slopes.

PLANT:
Prefers full sun; and harsh conditions only keep the plant more tightly growing. Dislikes salt winds. Most soils are fine as long as they’re not waterlogged. Where conditions aren’t harsh enough to keep the mat tight, trim in spring with shears or a lawnmower.

SIMILAR TO:     
Small-leaved Pōhuehue (Muehlenbeckia complexa) – scrambling and climbing habit; often covering shrubs. Largely coastal. Can become invasive.
Wirebush (Muehlenbeckia astonii) – an upright small shrub with lots of orange twigs, and tiny, heart-shaped leaves.

ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE:     
Muehlenbeckia are the only food source for the larvae of the native Common Copper butterfly. Its flowers are also an important nectar source for the adult butterfly. Creeping Pōhuehue is also suspected to support the larvae of the native Glade Copper butterfly larvae.

MORE INFO:
http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/trees-native-botanical-names-m-to-q/muehlenbeckia-creeping-muehlenbeckia-axillaries.html
http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=2204
http://www.o2landscapes.com/pages/pp-muehlenbeckia.php

 

 

 

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