Cape ivy up close - real close
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Cape ivy -- Delairea odorata

This sub-section is still under construction.

As can be seen in the macro-photograph above Cape ivy flower is not an ugly plant. It is a vine much like English ivy except it grows much more rapidly. It loves moisture and consequently is often found in riparian habitats. It also is partial to coastal oak forests including the Elfin Forest.

In riparian areas on the Central Coast, where the winters are mild, a few years after invasion often all that is visible Cape ivy. It has no known controlling pests outside of its original home in the cape area of South Africa.

While the variety that is in our area is close to sterile -- its seeds are difficult to germinate at best -- it propagates very readily from its segments and stolons. Break off a piece and drop it somewhere with a little moisture and you have a new plant. Pull up a vine and 10++ more plants will spring up from the stolons left behind. Besides humans, birds and mammals are thought to be the principle spreaders of Cape ivy. This is strange because it is generally considered to be poisonous

Controlling Cape ivy with a mix of mechanical methods and herbicides has proven to be very labor intensive. Several promising biological controls from South Africa have been identified. The appropriate studies have been done, but the approval for their use has apparently disappeared into a black hole in the Federal process.

Below are several papers on Cape ivy.

Click on the button for Cal-IPC's summary sheet for Cape ivy -- Delairea odorata.

Cal-IPC's latest state of biological control research on Cape ivy.

The Golden Gate National Recreational Area is using the "nuclear" option on their Cape ivy -- sterilize the acreage infested and then replant. Not a good option in the Elfin Forest.

More to come.....