Mother asks for help identifying a green ‘vegetable’ in her backyard – but is given a chilling warning not to touch the ‘highly venomous’ plant
- Aussie mother Maryam posted photos of a mysterious green ‘vegetable’ online
- She was quickly inundated with warnings that the plant was highly poisonous
- The ‘moth vine’ can cause vomiting, abdominal pain and shortness of breath
- One concerned internet user told Maryam to ‘kill it’ and ‘pull it out by the roots’
A mother who asked social media for help identifying a ‘vegetable’ in her backyard has received a fierce warning to pull the poisonous plant ‘out by the roots’.
Aussie mother Maryam posted a photo of the mysterious green plant to the ‘Mum’s Who Cook Clean and Organise Australia’ group on Facebook this week.
Members were quick to identify the growth as a ‘moth vine’, a highly toxic weed that is poisonous to both people, pets and native plants.
Aussie mother Maryam posted a photo of the mysterious plant from her garden on Facebook
The fast-growing climbing plant is commonly confused with a ‘choko’, a popular vegetable with a mild flavour found growing in many local gardens.
Concerned group members warned Maryam not to touch or eat the plant, as ingesting the venomous vine can cause severe breathing difficulties.
‘It’s not choko! Please don’t eat it’, one woman warned.
‘Yes, it’s poisonous. Wash your hands’, another advised.
‘Moth vine. Highly poisonous to humans and animals and classified as a nuisance weed that needs to be removed’, a third mother wrote.
The moth vine (pictured) is a noxious fast-growing weed that is poisonous to people and pets
Another woman recognised the green ‘vegetable’ from her own backyard.
‘I have these in my garden, I had no idea they were so dangerous’, she said.
When cut open the moth vine releases a milky sap that can cause skin and eye irritation, and in some cases breathing difficulties.
However it is the seeds and leaves of the weed that are highly noxious, with symptoms including poor balance, staggering, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Experts advise looking at the insides of the moth vine and choko to tell them apart, while the former is soft and furry, the latter is firm and light green in colour.
The moth vine is commonly confused with the choko (pictured), a mild flavoured vegetable
Maryam posted an update to her original post, saying she was thankful for the words of warning.
‘This grew over our fence,’ she explained.
‘Definitely not gonna eat but thought I would ask before chopping them off.’
One woman reiterated the dangers of the poisonous vine.
‘Kill it! Pull it out by the roots! The fruit explodes and releases thousands of seeds which then pop up everywhere! They choke everything …. just awful!’
HOW TO IDENTIFY MOTH VINE IN YOUR GARDEN
Moth vines grow in eastern New South Wales and sometimes inland areas
The vine has hairy twining stems with egg or pear-shaped fruit
The plant can grow to 6-10 metres tall on plants or other structures
Small pale flowers grow in clusters on the vine, mostly in summer
The plant has a thick cover of dense, arrow-shaped leaves
The seeds are blackish with a tuft of long silky white hairs
The vines can be controlled by hand pulling the plants, taking care to avoid contact with the sap and always wearing gloves and other protective wear
Source: The NSW Department of Primary Industries