Pest Plants

Unfortunately weeds are an ongoing issue for any conservation/restoration project in New Zealand. Here in Otatara we have our fair share of weeds.

Here’s our list of the worst 10 weeds in Otatara. See Environment Southland for more detailed plant pest factsheets.

There are also “native weeds” - natives that have become a problem in some circumstances like Muehlenbeckia australis (but dont confuse this vine with native jasmin and native clematis) and natives which don’t naturally grow in Southland but are “taking over” - such as Hoheria sextylosa (lacebark) and Coprosma robusta. Contact the Southland Community Nursery to find out more about these native plants and others.

See Weedbusters for more information about these weeds and best methods for control and disposal.


  • Canopy tree that can dominate native forest areas
  • Spreads hundreds of seedlings

Darwins Barberry

  • Shrub – can tolerate growing in shade and outcompete native shrubs
  • Berries are dispersed by birds

Old Man’s Beard

  • Climbing vine that smothers natives beneath
  • Suffocates the plants and trees it grows over


  • Tree that can outcompete native trees – can tolerate growing in shade
  • Berries are dispersed by birds
  • Control by picking flowers to make elderflower champagne, berries for elderberry wine!

Chilean Flame Creeper

  • Vine that smothers native vegetation
  • Grows from a bulb and is very difficult to kill
  • Berries spread by birds

Aluminium Weed

  • Ground cover – dominating ground over large areas under forest
  • Smothers native seedlings

Pampass Grass

  • Often confused with native toetoe
  • Can dominate coastal areas


  • Shrub
  • Berries are dispersed by birds


  • Climbing vine that smothers native vegetation


  • Tree that dominates native forest areas
  • Berries are dispersed by birds