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Vetch spreading around Piha

Posted by SCe Comments Off on Vetch spreading around Piha

Vetch North Piha 30 October 2011

Lots of beachfront owners are being troubled by the appearance of a scrambling sweet-pea like weed smotherings their gardens.

It is also well entrenched on the dunes of North Piha, especially north of North Piha Surf Club, but you will also see it at Piha beach in the dunes and in gardens across the road.

This perennial weed is vetch. It is bright green, with small purple pea-like flowers. It has small leaves, occuring in opposites along the stem, and distinctive fine clingy tendrils. The flowers are followed by small pea-shaped pods that go black, burst open and scatter seeds far and wide.

Being penennial, it is not considered one of the bad ecological weeds that will replace natives, but it is certainly taking a hold on our dunes at this time of the year.

Control is by spraying with Glyphosate (Round-up) but you have to be very careful because vetch is usually intermingled with native or garden plants.  Vetch is hard to eradicate, so, good luck!

Distinctive bright green vetch along North Piha

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