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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Mexican sunflower

Tithonia diversifolia

Common name:

Mexican sunflower

Scientific name:

Tithonia diversifolia

Alternative common names:

Mexikaanse sonneblom (Afrikaans)

Mexican sunflower is an annual or perennial shrub which may be woody at the base and grows 1,5-3,5m high. The leaves are deeply lobed and five-fingered, up to 150mm long and 120mm wide. They are pale velvety below. The flowers are large and striking yellow, up to 100mm across, growing solitary on long stalks. Several may occur together in branched clusters and appear in autumn from April to June.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Central America, particularly Mexico.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    CARA Category 1; NEMBA Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Warmer climates in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

    How does it spread?

    Seed dispersal.

    Why is it a problem?

    A fast-growing and aggressive weed which competes against indigenous plants.

    What does it look like?

    Annual or perennial shrub which may be woody at the base. 1,5-3,5m high. Leaves:Deeply lobed five-fingered leaves up to 150mm long and 120mm wide. Pale velvety below. Flowers:Large striking yellow flowers up to 100mm across. Solitary on long stalks. Several may occur together in branched clusters. Flowers appear in autumn from April to June. Fruit/seeds:Brown achenes (dry, hard fruits) occurring in a round, spiky mass.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Oronamental, but now highly invasive.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group

04-09-2018

Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?

01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more