Considered very invasive and is on the Hawaii State Noxious Weed List. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated this species as one of Hawaii’s Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.
- Fast-growing vine with ivy-shaped leaves, white flowers, and 1-3 inch long red fruits.
- Native to tropical Africa and Asia, introduced to Hawaii as a backyard food crop (known as “Thai spinach”)
- Vines grow over and smother vegetation, and cover fences and power lines.
- Threatens natural and managed areas.
- Difficult to control because plants regrow from deep roots, even after treating with herbicide.
- Although ivy gourd requires cross-pollination between male and female plants, it is able to spread quickly and can grow up to four inches per day.
- Kauai – Present in limited areas, appears to have been planted for personal use in some areas. Currently being controlled by KISC.
- Oahu – Widespread around Waimanalo, Honolulu, Ewa, North Shore, offshore islets. Too widespread for OISC control actions. OISC encourages local control efforts by individual property owners to stop its spread.
- Maui – Localized infestations occur in Kapalua, Kihei, and Lahaina. Isolated plants have been seen in Kahului, Makawao, and Waiehu. MISC is working to control or eradicate.
- Molokai – Not yet known to be present on Molokai. MoMISC is monitoring, asks the public’s help in early detection.
- Lanai – Two locations are being monitored and controlled by MISC.
- Kahoolawe – None known