Calico flower, dutchman's pipe
Native to: South America
Calico flower is grown for its colorful and unique pipe-shaped flowers. Herbal preparations have been used for various ailments and to ease the pain of childbirth, however these plants are highly toxic. The flowers of this plant produce an odor similar to that of rotting meat. The odor attracts flies where they pollinate the flower and lay their eggs. Calico flower has established wild popuations in parts of central and south Florida.
Calico flower has been shown to escape cultivation in many areas of the world, including Florida. It has the ability to weigh down native plants and cause collapse under of the mass of vegetation produced. This creates an opening for opportunistic weeds to invade and take over an area. When the winged seeds of calico flower are dispersed, they will germinate wherever they land. This species is difficult to control once established because of above and below ground stems and roots that require numerous herbicide applications. Spread of the plant is accomplished via seed and humans. The seed pod of A. littoralis is a Because the seeds are winged, they are readily dispersed by wind. Humans also spread the plant either in seed form or cuttings for ornamental purposes. Plants can be established from cuttings, but it is uncertain if these are a concern to natural areas.
The first step in preventative control of calico vine is to limit planting and removal of existing plants within the landscape. Inform the public to refrain from purchasing, propagating, or planting calico flower due to the ability to escape into natural areas.
If possible, remove vines before seeds are produced. Care must be exercised to prevent seed spread and dispersal during the removal process.
Cutting is possible, although application of an herbicide may be required to control resprouting. Small seedlings can be hand pulled.
There are no known biological control programs for calico flower.
Use a basal bark application of triclopyr at 100% to the base of the vine, as close to the root as possible. Do not cut vines. Repeat herbicide applications may be necessary to control regrowth or plants missed in the initial application.