Muehlenbeckia complexa   Wireplant D I

Muehlenbeckia complexa whole Muehlenbeckia complexa close

This plant was found growing out of a crack in a wall close to the sea which is where this plant grows in its native New Zealand. It is grown as an ornamental plant - actually a creeper which in the British Isles can grow up to 2 metres tall. In Australia where it is an unwanted alien it can be 6 metres tall. It was the food plant of the Moa, a genus of large flightless bird. The Moa were captured for food by the native New Zealanders until they were finally hunted it to extinction by about 1500 AD.

The Muehlenbeckia genus is named after Heinrich Gustav Muehlenbeck (1798–1845) a French physician who also surveyed the flora of the Alsace region of France. It has escaped in a few places, mostly in southern England, the Scillies, the Channel Islands and eastern Ireland but there is none to be found in Wales or Scotland.

Wall near the sea at Bude, Cornwall 19th July 2008

Added on 2nd May 2010

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