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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

Blue-leaf cactus

Opuntia robusta

Common name:

Blue-leaf cactus

Scientific name:

Opuntia robusta

Alternative common names:

Silver dollar, silver dollar cactus, silver dollar prickly pear, sweet purple cactus, wheel cactus, wheel pear. 

Blue-leaf cactus is an upright and succulent shrub growing 1-4 m tall with much-branched stems consisting of a series of flattened fleshy segments. It most commonly infests pastures, granite outcrops and open woodlands. 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Mexico

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1a Spineless cultivars and selections are not listed

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    North West, Free State and Northern Cape Provinces

    How does it spread?

    This species reproduces by stem fragments (i.e. stem segments easily become dislodged and produce roots) and also by seeds. Stem fragments are spread by becoming attached to animals, footwear and vehicles and are also dispersed in dumped garden waste. The fruit are eaten by various animals (e.g. birds and foxes) and the seeds spread in their droppings.

    Why is it a problem?

    It’s regarded as an environmental weed.

    What does it look like?

    Leaves:- No leaves. Flowers: - The large flowers (5-8 cm across) are yellow and occasionally have reddish-coloured streaks on the outer 'petals' (separate male and female flowers are often produced). Flowering occurs mostly during late spring and summer. Fruit/seeds: - Immature fruit are green in colour, but they turn pinkish to purplish in colour as they mature. These large fruit (7-8 cm long and about 6 cm wide) are fleshy, barrel-shaped or rounded (i.e. globose), and have several tufts of tiny barbed bristles on their surface. The dark red coloured pulp in the centre of the fleshy fruit contains large numbers of seeds (3-5 mm across). These seeds are generally light or dark brown in colour and rounded in shape.

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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