Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Hosed off gardeners dish dirt on worst weeds

The Wandering Jew weed. Photo / Supplied
The Wandering Jew weed. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand's most hated weed has been named and shamed.

The tradescantia fluminensis - commonly known as Wandering Jew - has been dubbed "the cockroach of the garden" by gardeners around the country.

They say the weed is impossible to eliminate.

It was voted the worst in the 2012 favourite native plant and worst weed survey run by the NZ Plant Conservation Network.

People who toom part in the survey nominated their favourite native plant and their least-favourite weed.

Wandering Jew was ranked worst, followed by veldt grass, convolvulus and the moth plant or vine.

Hundreds of voters posted comments on the website, one person saying of the Wandering Jew: "Impossible to get rid of ... the cockroach of the garden!" Another said: "Bane of my existence!"

A member of the network's council, Jesse Bythell, said the survey had been running for 10 years and was always popular.

"It really shows that people really are keen and passionate gardeners here in New Zealand.

"And we have people of all ages voting. We had one kid who posted a comment on one of the weeds saying, 'I have to weed this from our garden for my dad and I really hate it'."

The survey also asks people to nominate their favourite native plant and this time, the kauri was the winner.

The traditional New Zealand Christmas tree - the pohutukawa - came second and the puriri was third..

Top 5 worst NZ weeds

1. Wandering Jew.
2. Veldt grass.
3. Convolvulus.
4. Moth plant.
5. Climbing asparagus.

Top 5 NZ native plants

1. Kauri.
2. Pohutukawa.
3. Puriri.
4. Koru.
5. Fierce lancewood.

- NZ Herald

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