Senecio angulatus

Cape ivy

Family: Asteraceae

Origin: South Africa

A cluster of cape ivy flowers in the centre of the leaves.
Cape ivy is spread easily by seed or cuttings.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
  • Whole region — Sustained control

View more about the RPMP statuses

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.

Impact on environment

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 or 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.

Cape ivy leaves with yellow flowers.
Cape ivy has leathery leaves with 1-3 points on each side.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Close up of cape ivy leaves.
Top leaves are smaller and narrower.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Cape ivy branches with clusters of flowers.
The flower is small, has five petals and yellow.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
A dense bush of cape ivy.
It forms thick, long-lasting mats that prevent native plant seedlings from growing.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
A stalk of cape ivy leaves.
Cape ivy scrambles over shrubs and ground forming a dense tangled shrub.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow