Ornamental but invasive – Why should we be wary of the Antigonon vine?

Ornamental plants are beautiful and make great additions to gardens or house plants. Some ornamental plants, however, can become invasive due to the nature of the plant. Native to Mexico, Antigonon leptopus (coral vine) is a perennial vine that is an invasive species. Known for its showy flowers, this vine can spread over other vegetation once introduced. Native plant communities can collapse because of this vine, due to its capability to reproduce sexually by seeds, vegetatively by stems, and underground tubers.

Once it has escaped beyond its confines, it can cross into natural forests, climbing into mature trees and forming dense monoculture stands. The Caribbean islands are home to 15% of the world’s birds, plants, and reptile species. Invasive plant species like A.leptopus, have caused a decrease in biodiversity around the world.

Currently, one of the methods to control this invasive plant species is the burning or removal of the above-ground larger infestations.

Read more about this vine and impact below!

Check out our policy brief – Improving Biosecurity will Safeguard our Health, Economy, and Irreplaceable Biodiversity.

CABI – Antigonon leptopus