Terrestrial Invasives

Billardiera heterophylla

Billardiera heterophyllaBlue bell creeper

Common Name 
Blue bell creeper
Legal Status 
Emerging Weed
NEMBA 1a
Description

Bluebell creeper is native to south-western Australia. It is a medium-sized climbing shrub. The branches climb and twirl around other plants and man-made structures. It has dark green, glossy leaves about 50mm long. There is a distinctive mid-vein and the leaf is hairless. Flowers appear from spring to summer and are usually blue-mauve in colour, but some plants produce pink or white flowers. Each flower is bell-shaped with five petals and occur in drooping clusters of 1-5 flowers at the tips of the branches. The fruits are green turning purple green, cylindrical in shape and about 20mm long.

Seed pods
smothering indigenous vegetation
masses of seeds
White flowers
Where does this species come from? 
Bluebell creeper is native to south-western Australia
Why is it a problem? 
Bluebell creeper is known to be highly invasive and has the potential to become a serious weed in the fynbos biome. It could displace indigenous plants and is also known to contribute towards soil erosion.
It is also toxic and can cause skin irritations and nausea.


Means of reproduction? 
Bluebell creeper is spread by birds distributing seeds, as well as plants being dumped in landfill sights. It also rapidly regenerates and spreads after fire, another reason why it could be detrimental to the Western Cape’s unique ecosystem.