Cape Ivy

Delairea odorata

Family: Asteraceae

Type of weed:

Flower colour(s):

Priority Weed Local Priority Weed. (See more weeds of the class.)

Flowering Months: , , ,


A vigorous perennial vine. Roots are fibrous or woody and mostly shallow.

Leaves are alternate, glossy, three to eight lobed and ivy-shaped.

Flowers are daisy-like, yellow and scented, in branching clusters on short stalks. Flowering is in winter to early spring.

The plant produces many tiny seeds, each equipped with a small hairy parachute, like dandelion.


Seed is dispersed by wind and water. The plant regenerates very easily from stem fragments and is commonly spread in dumped garden waste.

Impact on bushland

Cape Ivy is a highly invasive plant forming a dense smothering curtain that eventually collapses forest canopy and prevents regeneration of native plants.


. Also in mid Mountains.

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Twining Purple-pea (Hardenbergia violacea)
  • Wonga Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana)
  • Water Vine (Cissus antarctica)
  • Old Man’s Beard (Clematis aristata)

NB: not Clematis cultivars; these can also be environmental weeds.

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.


  • Hand remove
  • Scrape and paint
  • Cut and paint

Manual control

Hand remove

Take hold of one runner and gently pull it along the ground towards you. Check points of resistance where fibrous roots grow from the nodes. Cut roots with a knife or dig out with a trowel and continue to follow the runner. The major root systems need to be removed manually or scrape/cut and painted with herbicide. Bag any reproductive parts.

Chemical control

Note: Herbicides that may be used for this weed include Glyphosate.

Scrape and paint

Using knife to scrape long gashes along stem
Scrape bark/outer layer away with a knife

With a knife, scrape up to a metre of the stem to reach the layer below the bark/outer layer. Immediately apply herbicide along the length of the scrape.

  • A maximum of half the stem diameter should be scraped. Do not ringbark.
  • Larger stems (over 1 cm in diameter) should have two scrapes opposite each other.
  • Vines can be left hanging in trees after treatment.

Cut and paint

Applying poison to cut stump from squeeze bottle
Apply poison immediately after cutting

Useful for small to medium sized woody weeds up to 10 cm in diameter.

Make a horizontal cut as close to the ground as possible with secateurs or loppers, and immediately apply concentrated Glyphosate to the exposed stump surface. Do not allow the surface to get covered with soil.

Specific control tips for this weed

Control measure: the spread of this plant should be contained to prevent spread to priority assets. Weed notices will be issued under special circumstances.

  • Primary control  involves clearing from around trees, shrubs and ferns. Pull out all runners. Remove all parts from moist areas.
  • Pull out smaller plants and seedlings.
  • Cut or scrape and paint main woody stems with herbicide. Treat before winter flowering to prevent seed set.

Check sites thoroughly because stem pieces break off easily during clearing.

Follow-up treatment is required.

Refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Weed Wise website.

For key points on these techniques:

Local Priority Weed

Control measures:

  • The plant should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
  • Plants under 4 metres in height should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
  • The spread of this plant should be adequately contained to prevent spread impacting on priority assets. Weed notices will only be issued for these weeds under special circumstances.