Geitonoplesium cymosum

Scrambling lily

Family: Philesiaceae

Origin: Oceania

Close up of scrambling lily flowers.
A perennial climber that can have stems up to 12m long. Grows up tall trees by winding around tree trunks.
Photo credit: Jackie Miles and Max Campbell

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Eradication
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Evergreen perennial climber < 12 m. Stems are green, wiry and self-supporting, reaching low branches before winding around the host plant. Leaves have a raised central vein and are dull green, stiff, < 8 x 1 cm and absent from stems in full shade. Flowers are white/purplish-green with clusters of bright yellow anthers. Fruit is spherical, < 1 cm in diameter and green turning black.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell scrambling lily within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant scrambling lily within the Auckland region.

Auckland Council will control scrambling lily at all sites where it is known to occur.

If you see scrambling lily anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at


Forest, woodlands, potentially riparian margins.


Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from suckering and rhizome fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste.

Impact on environment

Forms dense infestations and strangles host plants.


Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. Please report to Auckland Council.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Two white scrambling lily flowers side by side.
Leaves are deep green and long and slender, and flowers are white with five petals. Flowers form in clusters and have distinctive yellow anthers.
Scrambling lily crawling up a branch.
When flowers are pollinated they form into round fruit that matures to a black colour. Black berries are eaten by birds and deposited further away.
Photo credit: Jackie Miles and Max Campbell
Close up of scrambling lily leaves.
A significant weed that must be reported to Auckland Council if seen. Its scrambling nature can take over mature trees and strangle them.
Photo credit: Jackie Miles and Max Campbell