Moth Vine Warning

Whilst searching for something else this morning, I came across this item.

And I looked up this item.

I had never heard of this insidous pest before but I can see how it could be easily be mistaken for a choko.

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And most people won’t have and it won’t be growing in their gardens. It is also isn’t a common garden vegetable as alluded in the headline. This is very much scare mongering at its worst.

The vine is also very different to choko and the fruit, while there is some resemblance (green and slightly choko shaped), and avid gardener would easily recognise that it isn’t a choko.

It is a bit like writing an article fear-mongering about mushrooms with a title such as 'Urgent warning over common mushrooms: it’s poisonous - do not eat it."…and then the article taking about mushrooms what might look similar to edible varieties but are poisonous.


I would not call the Business Qld article scaremongering and it supports the comments in the other article.

The link is to the Queensland Government Pestfact website. There are also many other pest plants on the same website which has many other pest plants in Queensland, some which are environmental weeds as well as others which pose a risk to stock and human health.

This is a factual site and doesn’t provide any sensationalist information like that in the New Idea article.


Your linked website is a good guide for Queenslanders to weedy plants found up North through to Northern NSW. I refer to it often. Especially the guides for management of the most invasive species.

I had a look at the pics of the moth vine. It is nothing like a choko vine, although the fruit are a similar shape, but smaller and smoother.

If it is a concern, it is mostly found in SE Qld and Northern NSW. An alternate source of information is any of the major local councils. They all have action plans for the control of invasive, declared and noxious weeds. If a particular plant is a concern in your area it’s best to check locally first. There is no need getting all bothered about a plant that is not founded locally. Councils will also (harder at present) assist in identifying weeds you are unsure of.

For moth vine a useful resource for SE Qld.

There are a multitude of native jungle (rain forest) vines and plants that produce fruit. Bright little lollies, many of them. Eat at your own peril. There are those who are expert at bush tucker, if you are interested. Otherwise, if you did not plant it, don’t eat it, might be worth passing on.

Choko - another one for a food challenge, given the history of the fruit as a go to plant in the face of food shortages and poverty? @vax2000


I think they were trying to say the choko is a common garden veggie but it is ambiguous.

Aside from recognising the pod from the outside surely any cook with any sense would soon realise as soon as they cut it that the tough outer case and the fluffy fly-away seed bundle in the middle isn’t anything like a choko. As I read it there is no report of anybody actually being deceived and eating it. There is nothing insidious (wily, deceitful, cunning) about it if you have ever seen the cloud of flying seeds that the pods produce when they burst.

Social media got busy (THEY OUGHT TO DO SOMETHING! ) and some journo picked it up and ran with it. It’s cheap journalism, you don’t have to stir out of your chair or even make a phone call.