General description

Semi-evergreen perennial shrub < 1.5 m tall. Stems are slender and semi-woody. Leaves are < 15 x 8 cm, ovate or elliptic, hairless and opposite. Flowers are yellow with green sepals and borne in November – February. Fruits are green berries that ripen to black.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell tutsan. As tutsan is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant tutsan within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any tutsan on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Forest, woodland, forest margins, riparian areas, roadsides, regenerating scrub, pasture.

Seeds dispersed by birds, water, wind and possibly possums. Human-mediated dispersal through contaminated vehicle and soil movement and dumping of garden waste.

Forms dense stands, excluding native vegetation and suppressing seedling recruitment. May affect habitat availability and food resources for native and exotic fauna. Reduces pasture and plantation productivity, causes photosensitisation and dermatitis in livestock.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


Check for presence of agents:
Tutsan beetle (Chrysolina abchasica)

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 200ml glyphosate green per 1L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Japanese honeysuckle
Lonicera japonica

Japanese honeysuckle foliage appears similar to tutsan. Growth form is a vine. Crushed leaves do not have a 'curry' scent.

RPMP status

National Pest Plant Accord Species
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Tutsan - Main species image