Leaves dark green above and white/grey below

Opposite leaves

Milky sap from stems, leaves and roots

Close up of bud

Stem and root

Fleshy pear-shaped fruit

Fruit and seed

Scientific Name

Araujia hortorum


Araujia sericifera

Common Names

moth vine, mothplant






Distinguishing characteristics

A perennial climber with sparse, twining, scrambling, woody stems; milky latex from cut or damaged stems, leaves and roots.

Leaves are opposite, dull green on the upper surface and grey to white on the lower surface, sparsely hairy, triangular to pear shaped, tip pointed, base as-if-cut-off to slightly heart shaped.

Flowers either white or pale pink, borne singly or arranged in loose clusters. 

Fleshy pear-shaped fruits contain many seeds. Each seed has a bunch of silky hairs at one end.

Other plants easily confused with this plant

The native climbers Marsdenia rostrata and Parsonsia straminea may be confused with Moth Vine, but both have clear instead of milky sap.

Sources & References

"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd.

"Flora of New South Wales" editor Gwen J. Harden, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by Dr Peter Michael, July 2005

Updated by Bev Debrincat, December 2011