Cape ivy
Asteraceae - Senecio angulatus

What does it look like?

Cape ivy is a hairless, scrambling, perennial plant which often forms a dense tangled shrub 2-3m tall.  It can form a vine able to climb up to 5m.  It has wiry to woody stems with few branches and very fleshy, leathery leaves with coarse serrations on each side.  Dense clusters of yellow, ragwort-like flowers are produced from March to August, followed by fluffy seeds. 

Grows in drier, more open sites, including waste places and scrubland, especially near the sea.  Coastal, rocky areas, cliffs, bush edges, regenerating lowland forests and inshore islands.

Why is it a problem?

Cape ivy can become an aggressive weed once established and can scramble over large trees.  It has a moderate growth rate with layering stems, which scramble over shrubs and the ground forming dense, tall thickets. Tolerates salt, wind, drought, semi-shade and damage.

It produces many long-lived seeds that are wind dispersed a long way from parent plants. Seeds and fragments are also spread in dumped vegetation and soil movement. 


Control Methods

Physical control

  • Hand pull or dig out small plants and dispose of roots at a refuse transfer station, burn, or bury deeply.

Herbicide control

  • Most easily controlled at flowering, when highly visible and before seed is produced. Cut stems below waist height, spray below this point with glyphosate (360g/L) 10ml/L knapsack or 2L/100L spraygun or metsulfuron-methyl (600g/kg) 2g/10L knapsack or 20g/100L spraygun.

  • Cut down and paint stump with glyphosate (360g/L) 100ml/L or metsulfuron-methyl (600g/kg) 1g /L. 

  • In coastal sand dune environments, contact your local regional council for advice.



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