Deciduous tree 10 to 20 m high with a spreading crown and often more than one trunk; bark is greenish smooth at first, aging to brown and rough. Leaves bright green, paler and sometimes densely hairy beneath, turning yellow in autumn; 3 – 9 pinnate, but mostly with 5 leaflets; leaflets coarsely toothed, 50 – 100 mm long.
This fast-growing species is particularly invasive along waterways (i.e. in riparian areas) and in sheltered forests in temperate zones, but it has the potential to invade other habitats.
Banana poka is a vigorous, scrambling, smothering plant that climbs up to 10 m high by means of its tendrils. It can smother trees, reducing native biodiversity and its fruit can encourage pest animals such as rats. Declared weed, prohibited and must be controlled in South Africa.
Distinguished by presence of distorted segments; corrugated surface of segments; presence of small bristles (glochids) in clusters in depressions (areoles) on segments, these glochids readily attach to skin and are difficult to remove, areoles also have white to brownish spines, thorns are at the base of areoles and glochids at the tops; absence of flowers and therefore fruit.
Bramble is a perennial subshrub species with long, low-growing stems and thorns about 1.5mm long. It can exist as a woody vine or low-growing shrub. It grows in a host of habitats, ranging from dry savannah to deciduous forests. It also produces a dark purple drupe that, when fully ripened, has a tart-sweet flavour.
Chickweed occurs either as an annual species or as a short-lived perennial. It produces several generations a year, each one flowering after just five weeks of growth. It can remain green and often stays in flower throughout winter. A single plant can produce about 2 500 red-brown seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for 25-40 years.