What is capeweed?

(Arctotheca calendula)
Flowering capeweed - Photo: K. Fenner
Capeweed is a troublesome pasture, crop and garden weed in Tasmania.

How to identify capeweed

  • Capeweed is an autumn-germinating annual plant, with seedlings appearing from late February through to late April. As plants mature they develop into a rosette, or whorl of leaves close to the ground.
  • Capeweed rosettes are similar to storksbill, crowsfoot, bittercress, and mustards, but can be identified by the undersides of the leaves which are whitish and covered by a thick mat of short hairs.
  • Flowering occurs in late spring and early summer; the masses of yellow, daisy-like flowers with dark, almost black centres are conspicuous from a considerable distance. Capeweed dies off in late summer.
  • For help in identifying capeweed, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora database for capeweed illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.

Capeweed rosette - photo: M. BakerCapeweed rosette and flowers - photo: K. Fenner
Image top: Capeweed, photo: K. Fenner.
Images above, left to right: Capeweed rosette, photo: M. Baker; Capeweed rosette and flowers, photo: K Fenner.

Capeweed in Tasmania

  • Capeweed is not declared in Tasmania.
  • Capeweed is distributed throughout Tasmania, particularly on light sandy soils.
  • Capeweed competes with pasture grass and clover, and in the home garden with herbaceous and lawn plants. Capeweed is nutritious to stock and is valued by some graziers. However, capeweed does not provide continuous ground cover over summer and leaves the ground open to erosion during this period.
  • Capeweed can accumulate toxic levels of nitrate on high fertility sites (such as stock camps and stock yards), while milk from dairy cattle may also become tainted when stock eat capeweed.

Detailed management and control guidelines for capeweed can be found in the Capeweed Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Capeweed Control.

See also:
Capeweed Control Guide
Herbicides for Capeweed Control
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links:
Pest Genie

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