Alternative common names:
Where does this species come from?Madagascar.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA Category 3
Where in South Africa is it a problem?: KwaZulu- Natal, Western Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape
How does it spread?This species reproduces mainly by seed, but can also spread vegetatively via stem fragments. The seeds are most commonly dispersed by birds and other animals that eat the fleshy fruit. Stem segments and seeds can also be dispersed in dumped garden waste.
Why is it a problem?
The sap is poisonous, can cause throat allergies, coughing, nose swelling and eyelids blisters when dry. It also invades urban areas, stream banks, forests and wooden areas.
What does it look like?
Leaves: dark green hairless upper surfaces and greyish-green velvety hairy undersides.
Flowers: Flowers are mauve or purple (occasionally white to dark purple) with orange-yellow mouths
Fruit/seeds Berry-blue-violet globes
Does the plant have any uses?
Widely cultivated as a garden ornamental