Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata)

Photo: (c) Forest & Kim Starr

Family: Asteraceae.

Growth Habit: Cape Ivy is a non woody vine which has bright green, glossy, thin but slightly fleshy, ivy shaped leaves. It also has  small kidney-shaped leaf structures that occur at the base of the leaves.

Type of plant: Twining succulent climber and scrambler.

Photo: (c) Eric in SF

Flowers: Small sweet-scented, yellow daisy-like flower clusters, with no conspicuous petals from winter to early spring.

Fruit/Seeds: Small, with a “parachute” of fine hairs to assist its dispersal.

Dispersal: Cape ivy is spread by seed and vegetatively. Seed is dispersed by wind and water, and the stems can root at the nodes when in contact with soil creating another plant. Also, cape ivy is often spread by the dumping of garden waste on bush land edges.

Distribution: Common around the coast but also found in other areas of the Tamar.

Status: Undeclared in Tasmania but has potential to be a significant environmental weed.

Weed Impact:

  • Highly invasive.
  • Suppresses native vegetation by carpeting the ground and climbing into the canopy.
  • Toxic to animals.

Control Methods:

  • Remove or poison the root system when controlling Cape Ivy otherwise it will regrow.
  • Hand-pull young plants, or cut through stems and paint with herbicide and leave upper parts to die off in place.
  • Spray regrowth, adding a surfactant to improve penetration of the waxy leaves.
  • When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant.
  • Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy.
  • Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem.
  • Herbicides permitted: Glyphosate 360g/L for spot spray (diluted) and cut stump/scrape stem and Picloram 44.7 g/kg + Aminopyralid 4.47 g/L (undiluted) for cut stump.

N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.