Tecomaria capensis

Cape honeysuckle

Family: Bignoniaceae

Origin: South Africa

Tall branches of the cape honeysuckle tree.
Cape honeysuckle is commonly used as a hedge plant.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Not a legally declared pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Rambling perennial shrub < 4 m tall. Leaves are small and pinnate, with < 9 opposite, serrated, rounded leaflets. Flowers are < 5 cm long, orange-red, tubular and borne year-round. Seed capsules are flattened, < 6 x 5 cm and leathery.

What you need to know

Although Cape honeysuckle is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.


Coastal cliffs, scrub, forest margins, gardens, hedgerows.


Seeds are dispersed by wind, but seed set rare in New Zealand. Vegetative spread from layering. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste.

Impact on environment

Can form dense stands and smother native vegetation. May provide habitat refuge for rabbits.


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: 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.

Bright orange cape honeysuckle flowers.
Cape honeysuckle flowers are orange-red tubular trumpet shaped.
The leaves of cape honeysuckle.
The leaves are small, dark green and serrated.
A wall of cape honeysuckle.
Cape honeysuckle forms dense stands that outcompete and smother native species.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Cape honeysuckle with orange flowers at the tip.
The flowers form in bunches at the end of branches.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow