This vine is steadily growing up my ponga fern and I'm wondering if I need to be concerned, and whether I need to cut it in case it's damaging the fern. None of my pongas of a similar height has this growth on them. I'm in Wellington, New Zealand.

ponga with vine

And closer up of bottom storey

bottom storey leaves

And of middle storey

middle storey leaves

  • Is there growth on the ground below, and its just decided to climb up the tree, or is it growing only on the tree trunk?
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 23:00
  • It's only growing on the tree. Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


It's one of the native rata vines (Metrosideros, probably perforata), perfectly normal and won't harm the fern for a few human lifetimes. The trunk will end up being clothed but that just looks nice.

TERRAIN has a good Metrosideros page as does Philip Smith @ 02Landscapes

  • The leaves on mine in the top picture are yellow on the edges, and green centrally. And there are no flowers yet. I'll try to get a closer picture. Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 4:03
  • Added another picture of the yellow leaves Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 4:23
  • Perhaps it's Metrosideros carminea 'Carousel' ? Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 8:48
  • The one with yellow variegated looks like Euonymus fortunei...gold something or other. Sure is pretty. Vines cloaking the bark and holding moisture on that bark worry me lots...maybe palm bark is different than deciduous tree or conifer bark??? Grins.
    – stormy
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 23:46
  • Tree ferns (they are true ferns) don't have bark as such; the trunk comprises a bundle of softish, fibrous 'rods', so having climbing plants apressed to them is not an issue - perfectly normal here.
    – nigelc
    Commented Jan 16, 2017 at 12:36

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