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: scrubland, 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 form dense, tall thickets.

Cape ivy tolerates salt, wind, drought, semi-shade and damage. Its long-lived seeds are also easy dispersed by wind, though often its spread is further aided by garden dumping of seeds and fragments. All of these factors result in this species out-competing native species and being a nuisance to control.

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 when in flower, as this is not only when it is highly visible but is also just priot to the plant producing seed.

  • Cut stems below waist height and spray with glyphosate (360g/L) at rates of 10ml per 1L water or 2L per 100L if using spraygun;
    OR
  • Spray with metsulfuron-methyl (600g/kg) at rates of 2g per 10L water or 20g per 100L water with spraygun;
    OR
  • Cut & paint stump with glyphosate (360g/L) at rates of 100ml per 1L water;

  • Cut & paint stump with metsulfuron-methyl (600g/kg) at rates of 1g per 1L water.

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

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