Climbing Spindleberry

(Celastrus orbiculatus)

Total Control Pest

Climbing Spindleberry is a vigorous perennial climber that can grow up to 12 metres high. It is conspicuous in autumn when the leaves turn a bright yellow colour before dropping. Flowers are green and inconspicuous but the plant produces showy orange fruit, attracting birds to disperse its seed.

Reasons for the Strategy

The dark green vine of Climbing Spindleberry.

Climbing Spindleberry has the ability to kill trees by smothering them due to its shade tolerance and rampant growth. It is one of the few climbers with the potential to invade cooler areas. In the last 15 years, it has had a major impact on native vegetation in the Taupo-Tongariro area and on pine plantations in the Bay of Plenty.

Climbing Spindleberry is assessed at “3” on the infestation curve. There are a number of known sites in the Tasman- Nelson region in Golden Bay (Payne’s Ford, Ligar Bay and Takaka), Riwaka, Motueka and Nelson. The low incidence of Climbing Spindleberry 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 Climbing Spindleberry 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 Climbing Spindleberry

The occupier shall destroy all adult and juvenile forms of Climbing Spindleberry on land that they occupy. A breach of Strategy Rule 4.5.5 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 Climbing Spindleberry, under Sections 52 and 53 of the Act.