African Pig's Ear

Also known as:
Pig's Ear, Round-Leafed Navel Wort, Elk Horn
South Africa

General description

Succulent, clump-forming sub-shrub < 1 m tall. Leaves are grey-green with red margins. Flowers are bell-shaped, orange/red/pink and borne on stems < 50 cm tall in December – June.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:
  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell African pig’s ear. As African pig’s ear 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 African pig's ear 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 African pig's ear 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.

Coastal cliffs, rocky outcrops, banks, dunes, scrub, grasslands, pasture.

Seeds dispersed by wind and gravity. Vegetative spread from fragments.

Displaces native coastal vegetation. Can form dense clumps in coastal ecosystems.

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: All parts

Disposal options: Small amounts can be rotted in a covered water barrel or remove to greenwaste or landfill


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

Basic Growsafe certified
For small infestations:
Foliar spray with 3g metsulfuron-methyl plus 150ml glyphosate per 10L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
For medium to large infestations:
Foliar spray with 3g metsulfuron-methyl plus 150ml glyphosate per 10L of water and 10ml penetrant

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

RPMP status

National Pest Plant Accord Species
Whole region (Sustained Control)
African pig's ear - Main species image