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Cape Ivy

South Africa

General description

Perennial scrambling herb < 2 m tall. Leaves are < 6 x 5 cm, arrow-shaped and toothed. Flowers are yellow and borne in clusters March – August. Seeds are fluffy.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell Cape ivy within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant Cape ivy 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 ivy 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 habitats, cliffs, sand dunes, grassland, scrub, forest and riparian margins, wasteland.

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

Forms dense scrambling thickets, smothering and outcompeting native vegetation. May obstruct access to recreational areas.

Site Management

Cut and pull vines away from desirable trees and native plants before foliar spraying. 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: 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 glyphosate gel
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 100ml glyphosate green per 1L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green 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.

Similar species

German ivy
Delairea odorata

German ivy has small ear-like projections at base of the leaf stalks, it has a better climbing ability & thinner leaves.

English ivy
Hedera helix ssp. helix

English ivy has thinner leaves and lacks the yellow daisy like flowers.

velvet groundsel
Roldana petasitis

Velvet groundsel has similar flowers but a very different growth form and leaves.

madeira vine
Anredera cordifolia

Madiera vine's leaves are less toothed. It has aerial tubers and small cream flowers on spikes.

RPMP status

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