To the naked eye, you’d be forgiven for thinking this beautiful green specimen is a choko.
The popular vegetable is a favourite for many around Australia, delicious with a dollop of butter.
But while chokos are easy to grow and are a common feature in many Aussie gardens, a mum has now issued an urgent new warning after making an alarming discovery.
Sharing on Facebook, mum Sheree revealed how she picked what she believed was a choko from a neighbouring garden fence. But once she cut it open, she realised it was in fact a highly poisonous plant - dangerous to both humans and pets.
Sheree writes: ‘I found a plant hanging on my fence that looked like a choko. I cut one up to see what it was and after realising it wasn’t a choko I googled it and its actually a poisonous plant called a Moth Vine.
‘Everything about this plant is poisonous to humans and animals.’
To the average eye, the Moss Vine looks a lot like a choko plant.
But in fact every part of the plant is poisonous to humans and pets.
Says the NSW Government’s Department of Primary Industries: ‘Moth vine grows quickly and smothers other plants. It invades natural areas, parks and gardens. Moth vine is poisonous to people and animals.
‘The latex sap can cause skin and eye irritation in people. In some cases it can cause breathing difficulties. The leaves and seeds are poisonous.’
Social media users were quick to voice their concern over the plant, with many saying they had it growing in their gardens.
Said one: ‘Omg these are growing on all sides of my house! I have been trying to figure out what they are too! With two little kids and a dog as well as our neighbors having the same on all sides I am so glad I saw this!’
Added another: ‘Crap, i have something that looks like this in my yard from the neighbours fence.’ Said a third: ‘My neighbour has it growing up the side of their house and now its on the roof.’
What to do if a person is poisoned with Moth Vine*
If the patient is unconscious, unresponsive or having difficulty breathing dial 000 or get to the emergency section of a hospital immediately.
If the patient is conscious and responsive call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 or your doctor.
If going to a hospital take a piece of the plant for identification.
Source: NSW Government’s Department of Primary Industries