Cathedral Bells

(Cobaea scandens)

Total Control Pest

Cathedral Bells is a vigorous perennial climber. It has large bell-shaped flowers that are green at first, becoming purple in colour after pollen production. Flowers are produced in summer and autumn. Egg-shaped fruit are produced, bearing many large-winged seeds.

Reasons for the Strategy

The Cathedral Bells vine with an open flower and closed bulb.

Cathedral Bells is very fast growing and smothers ground and tree vegetation. It suppresses native plant regeneration in disturbed or low forest, forest margins and open coastal forest. It has the potential to become a major problem in forests, scrub, and recreation areas.

Cathedral Bells is assessed at “3” on the infestation curve. There are known garden sites of Cathedral Bells in Nelson, Motueka and Upper Takaka. There are likely to be additional sites, as this plant was widely sold in nurseries. The low incidence of Cathedral Bells in the Tasman-Nelson region, extensive areas of suitable habitat, and the potential for it to cause significant adverse effects, mean the benefits of total control far outweigh the costs.


To contribute to the eradication of Cathedral Bells by ensuring that all known sites in the Tasman-Nelson region are inspected annually and all live plants are destroyed during the term of the Strategy.

Alternative Measures

The alternative option of “do nothing” or relying on voluntary control will not achieve the objective of eradication, and will result in significant additional costs to the community with respect to lost natural values and the increased cost of control in the future.

Strategy Rule for Cathedral Bells

The occupier shall destroy all adult and juvenile forms of Cathedral Bells on land that they occupy. A breach of Strategy Rule 4.4.5 is an offence under Section 154(r) of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Biosecurity Act Requirement

No person shall knowingly sell, propagate, breed, release, or commercially display Cathedral Bells, under Sections 52 and 53 of the Act.