Tropical west Africa
Vigorously invades intact, undisturbed hardwood forests; can climb high into the tree canopy of mature forests, completely enshrouding native vegetation and reducing native plant diversity (Hammer 1996).
Scrambling shrub or woody climber, evergreen, to 8 m (26 ft) tall, with climbing stems longer; stems glabrous. Leaves opposite, appearing simple (unifoliate), oval to roundish oblong, glossy, leathery, 5-7 cm (2-4 in) long, with short-pointed tips. Flowers white (pink in bud), quite fragrant, opening at night, in clusters at leaf axils; petals fused into a narrow tube to 2.5 cm (1 in) long, with 5-9 terminal lobes about 1.3 cm (0.5 in) long, spreading in star-shaped fashion. Fruit a small, fleshy, roundish, black, 2-lobed berry. (Langeland and Burks, 1998)
Without flowers or fruits present, may be confused with the native snowberry, Chiococca alba (L.) A. Hitchc., but its opposite leaves joined at the nodes by a stipular line scar. (Langeland and Burks, 1998)
Introduced into Florida for ornament in the late 1920s (Hammer 1996). As an ornamental, considered “promising in South Florida” in 1947 (Bailey and Bailey 1947). More recently considered weedy in cultivated landscapes (Broschat and Meerow 1991) and not recommended (Nelson 1996).
Documented by herbarium specimens from Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, and Highlands counties (Wunderlin et al. 1996).
Cut-stump: 50% Garlon® 3A or 10% Garlon® 4. Basal bark: 10% Garlon® 4. It is helpful to pull runners back to the main stem, cut, and apply Garlon® 3A or Garlon® 4 to the cut stem. Retreatment of areas is usually necessary. Foliar: 5% Roundup®. Manual: newly emerged seedlings can be hand pulled (Langeland, Ferrell, and Sellers 2011).