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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

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Pereskia

Pereskia aculeata

Common name:

Pereskia

Scientific name:

Pereskia aculeata (Cactaceae)

Alternative common names:

Barbados gooseberry; blade apple; leafy cactus, lemon vine, primitive cactus; Spanish gooseberry (English), pereskia; barbadosstekelbessie (Afrikaans), uqwaningi (isiZulu)

A spiny, clambering vine with long slender branches, growing 2-10m or higher and superficially resembling a bougainvillea. The young stems and leaves are semi-succulent with pairs of short, hooked spines in the leaf axils. The older stems are woody with clusters of hard, straight spines 30-40mm long. Bright green to yellowish, lance-shaped leaves. White, cream or yellow flowers appear from March-July and are lemon-scented, followed by succulent berries about 20mm across which are initially green then turn yellow. It invades forest margins, clearings and plantations.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    West Indies and South America (Brazil and Argentina)

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Mostly in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, as well as scattered parts of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces

    How does it spread?

    Spreads by seed dispersal

    Why is it a problem?

    It overtops and smothers other species, including large forest and plantation trees. Obstructs access to forests and plantations

    What does it look like?

    General description: Spiny, clambering vine with long slender branches, growing 2-10m or higher and resembling bougainvillea. Young stems and leaves semi-succulent with pairs of short, hooked spines in the leaf axils. The older stems are woody with clusters of hard, straight spines 30-40mm long. Leaves: Bright green to yellowish, lance-shaped leaves. Flowers: White, cream or yellow flowers appearing from March-July and lemon-scented. Fruit/Seeds: Succulent berries about 20mm across, initially green then turning yellow

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Used as an ornament and for security hedging

    Plant me instead alternatives

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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