Don’t let appears deceive you! These charming decorative blooms are dangerous and unlawful!


We’re flipping the opposite aspect of the coin at present to debate 10 perpetrator crops and weeds which can be typically saved in gardens for his or her pleasing or extraordinary appears and decorative worth. However many gardeners don’t perceive the dangerous impression of holding these buggers in native gardens. These specimens are all on the invasive alien plant record of South Africa and pose a menace to our surroundings. We’ll show you how to establish them by their appears (and aren’t they lovely!), understanding by which invasive class they fall, the place they’re prevalent, and most significantly, why they’re such problematic crops – and why it’s best to eliminate them altogether.

Invasive Alien Vegetation (IAP) are labeled as such as a result of they’re non-local and have been launched and unfold exterior their pure distribution space. They pose many threats to our surroundings and indigenous flora, in addition to fauna. If alien invasives take over an space, they are going to compete with and even utterly change native, indigenous flora. This in flip impacts the meals, shelter, nesting websites and so forth. of our fauna. IAPs have a tendency to alter soil vitamin in addition to water availability, and may have an effect on the sunshine coming by means of and an space’s temperature.

Our record covers Class 1 IAPs. By legislation, all crops on this class are prohibited and, whether or not in rural or city areas, should be eliminated and destroyed.

We additionally present a non-invasive different to every IAP listed, so there isn’t a purpose why your backyard shouldn’t look its full glory.

This weblog will cowl:

  • Ageratum conyzoides & houstonianum
  • Kalanchoe delagoense
  • Canna indica
  • Echium vulgare
  • Ipomea purpurea & Ipomea indica
  • Lantana camara
  • Lilium formosanum
  • Mirabilis jalapa
  • Nerium oleander
  • Tradescantia zebrina

Ageratum conyzoides & houstonianum – Billygoat weed & Mexican (backyard) ageratum

  • Description: These annual herbs have brilliant inexperienced, smooth, furry leaves and produce fluffy engaging mauve, blue, pinkish or white flowers all yr spherical. They develop about 30cm to max 1m excessive.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Prevalent in Jap Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
  • Why is it an issue: Folks have launched this plant as a decorative into their gardens previously as it’s engaging, very hardy and tolerates many rising situations. The truth that this plant flowers all yr spherical is what causes an issue as which means it’s always producing seeds which is how this plant spreads. This plant is so vigorous that it has the potential to compete with and change indigenous species. Additionally all elements of those crops are toxic to people and pets.
  • Different info: One wants to notice that there are hybridized types of this plant accessible these days which were bred to be sterile and never seed. Ageratum is alleged to be mosquito repellent when grown within the backyard and can be stated to have insecticidal and nematicidal (nematodes) properties.
  • Non-invasive options: Scabiosa ‘Butterfly blue’, Felicia ‘Glenwood’, Sterile Ageratums. 

AKalanchoe (Bryophyllum) delagoense – Mom of hundreds of thousands/ Chandelier plant

  • Description: It is a onerous to withstand alien invader. Not simply due to its magnificence but in addition as a result of it’s a type of crops that you simply don’t have to have any type of inexperienced finger to develop; it’s indestructible. This madagascan perennial succulent has erect stems with pencil formed leaves that are pale inexperienced to brown with darkish inexperienced to purple spots. The deep orange to magenta cluster flowers are very engaging, resembling these of Cotyledons.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Prevalent in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal Limpopo and Mpumalanga. 
  • Why is it an issue: The issue is within the widespread title of this plant ‘mom of hundreds of thousands’. There’s a double whammy drawback with this plant, and that’s that not solely does it produce 1000’s of small plantlets on the ideas of the leaves but it surely additionally produces small fruits with quite a few seeds in it. This plant can rapidly take over rocky outcrops, open forests in addition to grassy remnant vegetation, competing with indigenous species. On prime of this, the plant can be very toxic to people and animals.
  • Non-invasive options: Cotyledon flanaganii/orbiculata, Aloe cooperii, Senecio ficoides. 

Canna indica – Indian Shot

  • Description: This perennial rhizomatous plant displays erect, leafy shoots, with massive inexperienced or purple-bronze leaves and purple or orange tropical-looking flowers on prime of tall flowering spikes. The inexperienced spiny fruits, when ripe, confide in launch black, completely spherical, onerous seeds.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng, Jap Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo.
  • Why is it an issue: This plant not solely spreads through seeds but in addition has underground rhizomes, which implies that it varieties dense spreading clumps, competing with and infrequently changing indigenous species. The rationale why individuals are likely to wish to have this plant rising of their backyard shouldn’t be solely as a result of it’s a gorgeous decorative, but in addition as a result of it grows in very damp areas the place different crops typically battle – it typically invades swamps and wetlands. It sucks up a lot water that it’s really stated to cope with drainage issues.
  • Different info: The onerous black seeds of this plant are sometimes used for jewelry making in addition to are rattles in some musical devices. It is usually used to make purple dye. The rhizomes of this canna are edible when cooked and are even medicinal. The leaves can be utilized to make paper. These info are usually not being relayed to encourage holding it in your backyard. We’re relatively saying that when eradicating it, you may perhaps make use of elements of the plant. Many non-invasive canna hybrids exist, which are literally much more decorative.
  • Non-invasive options: Wachendorfia thyrsiflora, Zantedeschia aethiopica, Canna hybrids.

CannEchium vulgare – Blue Echium

  • Description: Blue echium is a deep rooted biennial that may develop as much as 1m. The leaves and stems are lined with coarse, white hairs. It has a really lengthy flowering interval with blue or purple flowers showing from October by means of to April.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Western Cape, Free State, Gauteng.
  • Why is it an issue: This plant seeds and spreads very simply, invading cultivated crops, pastures, roadsides in addition to residence gardens the place individuals attempt to hold it as decorative. The plant can be toxic and a pores and skin irritant.
  • Different info: The flowers of this plant, (associated to borage) could be added to salads, crystallised or made right into a cordial. The roots of this plant are sometimes used to make a purple dye. When working with this plant, keep in mind to put on gloves because the hairs on this plant can harm you and are a pores and skin irritant.
  • Non-invasive options: Limonium perezii, Aristea ecklonii & capitata, Lobostemon fruticosus (not really easy to search out however related look).

Ipomoea purpurea & Ipomoea indica – Frequent morning glory & Perennial morning glory

  • Description: These climbing and twining crops are extremely engaging with heart-shaped leaves and purple-blue, generally magenta to white funnel-shaped flowers. Purpurea is an annual type and at some stage will often die again and indica is a perennial selection. In tropical elements, this climber can flower all year long however in different elements will flower from November-Could.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Purpurea – class 3, indica – class 1 & 2 depending on province. Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Jap Cape, Western Cape. 
  • Why is it an issue: This plant spreads through the dispersal of very tremendous seeds and varieties dense progress over different crops and timber, due to this fact competing with different species. It tends to invade woodlands, riverbanks, coastal dunes, roadsides and residential gardens. This climber is nicely wanted by individuals, which is what has additionally led to the distribution and invasion of this plant.
  • Non-invasive options: Thunbergia grandiflora (not straightforward to search out generally), Petrea volubilis, Wisteria sinensis.

Lantana camara – Tick berry

  • Description: Tick berry is a spreading shrub or scrambler rising as much as about 2m tall. The stems are lined with hairs and thorns and the leaves are darkish inexperienced, tough and have a powerful odor when crushed. The flowers are fairly flat tops in pink, purple, crimson, orange, yellow or white and these colors are sometimes all displayed in a single head. Flowering takes place from September by means of to April and is adopted by purplish-black fruits when ripened.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Western Cape, Jap Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West.
  • Why is it an issue: The seeds of this plant are toxic to people and animals, significantly grazing animals. This plant is alleged to result in large livestock mortalities. Unusually sufficient, these seeds are usually not toxic to birds and that is how the plant is dispersed so simply. It spreads so vigorously that it’s going to change indigenous crops and can result in an space not with the ability to be grazed. The hairs and thorns on stems additionally result in invaded areas nearly being impenetrable.
  • Different info: The principle purpose this plant has turn out to be so invasive is because of people planting them of their gardens and these crops with the ability to escape through seed dispersal. Supposed sterile flower varieties are cultivated however this can’t actually be trusted as years in the past there was a pure yellow type ‘introduced out’, which was meant to be sterile, however this ultimately grew to become invasive as nicely. Lantana leaves are very medicinal and the stems have been used to make furnishings.
  • Non-invasive options: Polygala fruticosa & Polygala myrtifolia, Orphium frutescens, Verbena hybrids (if you would like decrease rising).

LAKALANCHOE (BRYOPHYLLUM) DELAGOENSE – Lilium formosanum – Trumpet lily/ St Joseph’s Lily

  • Description: The St Joseph’s lily is a bulbous plant that may attain a peak of 2m excessive and has slender, shiny foliage. From January by means of to March, magnificent, massive, funnel-shaped white flowers are shaped on spikes, that are extremely aromatic.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Jap Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo.
  • Why is it an issue: This plant spreads through seeds and bulbs which multiply. St Joseph’s lilies compete with and infrequently utterly change indigenous species. They tend to badly have an effect on grasslands and wetlands.
  • Different info: An fascinating reality is that the bulb may be very a lot edible and could be cooked and eaten like a potato. It is rather wealthy in starch.
  • Non-invasive options: Amaryllis belladona, Zantedeschia aethiopica, Non-invasive lily hybrids.

Mirabilis jalapa – 4 o’ clock plant

  • Description: The 4 o’clock plant is a bushy perennial shrub that produces lots of aromatic, funnel-shaped, tubular flowers. The plant is known as the 4 o’clock plant, as a result of the flowers open within the late afternoon after which fade within the night. These flowers are available in pink, purple, yellow, white and a few bi-colours. The slight scent permeated has a vanilla tone.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West province. We’ve got additionally seen Western Cape and Natal gardens and areas with these crops overtaking.
  • Why is it an issue: This plant spreads simply through seed dispersal and thrives in situations like dry sandy areas the place different crops would battle. It additionally prospers if rising in summer time rainfall areas. This plant has the capability to utterly take over and likewise doesn’t have many identified pests and ailments.
  • Different info: It is a relatively complicated plant as there are various opinions as to how this plant can be utilized. Some individuals say it’s edible to a sure extent and purple dye could be constituted of the flowers, which can be utilized as meals colouring, however others say it’s toxic. One confirmed use is that the purple dye constituted of the flowers can be utilized for dying materials.
  • Non-invasive options: Azalea hybrids, Cistus species, Pentas lanceolata

Nerium oleander – Oleander

  • Description: Oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree with darkish inexperienced hardy foliage and lots more and plenty of lovely pink, purple or white flowers which have a powerful, beautiful perfume, showing from September. These flowers are adopted by brown-red fruit follicles that break up open to disclose seeds with tufts of hair.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Jap & Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga. 
  • Why is it an issue: There’s a large false impression with reference to Oleanders, which is that folks assume they’re on the invasive record purely as a result of all elements of the plant are extremely poisonous to people, birds and different animals. This isn’t true. They’ve been declared aliens as a result of they unfold quickly through seed dispersal and wind up competing with indigenous species.
  • Different info: Oleander, though it’s some of the poisonous crops on the planet, is used medicinally (however finest go away this to the professionals who know the right way to work with it). Not solely is Oleander toxic when consumed, it’s going to additionally extremely irritate your pores and skin if you happen to come into contact with the milky sap, and when it burns it releases poisonous fumes.
  • Non-invasive options: Non-invasive Oleanders, Bauhinia galpinii, Escallonia ‘pink’, Raphiolepis indica ‘Pink’.

Tradescantia zebrina – Wandering Jew

  • Description: This perennial, evergreen creeper grows to about 500mm excessive and has engaging bluish-green foliage with two broad silver bands above and purple under. Wandering Jew flowers on and off by means of the yr with pink or violet-blue, small, fairly flowers.
  • Class & the place prevalent: Class 1. Notably dangerous in Jap Cape however can turn out to be problematic wherever.
  • Why is it an issue: This plant was very fashionable as a decorative due to its beautiful vibrant foliage however there are a few causes one shouldn’t plant it, or let it exist in your backyard. Firstly, it spreads like loopy through fragmented stems and roots, in addition to seed dispersal. It should invade and take over shady spots, disturbed forests and stream banks, competing and overtaking indigenous species. Secondly, the plant is thought to trigger pores and skin irritations to people in addition to your much-loved pets.
  • Different info: The plant is alleged to have medicinal properties, however solely for use by those who know what they’re doing.
  • Non-invasive options: Crassula multicava purple/purple, Tradescantia virginiana hybrids, Ajuga reptans, Lamium maculatum.

Little question, you’ll have recognised plenty of these crops – you would possibly even have them in your backyard. They’re all very engaging and are due to this fact onerous to withstand, however on the finish of the day, crucial factor is that we shield our surroundings and native natural world. This implies not contributing to the persisting issues that these IAPs pose when planted, propagated, traded or saved in our gardens.

The reply is easy: take away and destroy! And change it with an environmentally pleasant substitute. Must you want any further info on the right way to take away and destroy these crops, then please tell us. Our upkeep staff can be on standby to assist restore your backyard.