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Cape Honey Flower

South Africa

General description

Evergreen perennial shrub < 2 m tall. Stems are rough, soft-wooded and hollow. Leaves are frond-like, < 1 m long and divided into deeply folded, serrated leaflets that are covered in grey hairy down. Flowers are red/brown, foul-smelling and borne on long, erect flower stalks in July – April. Seed capsules are papery and contain long black seeds.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell Cape honey flower within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant Cape honey flower 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 Cape honey flower 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 areas, sand dunes, forest margins, shrubland, fernland, roadsides, wasteland.

Seeds dispersed by wind and water. Vegetative spread from suckers. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste.

Forms dense stands, displacing native plants. Highly poisonous to humans and 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 and roots

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 1g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl 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.

RPMP status

Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Cape honey flower - Main species image