Two people stand on a grassy hillside in the King Range Wilderness, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California Poppies Headwaters Forest Reserve Kayaker enjoying the California Coastal National Monument Headwaters Forest Reserve King Range National Conservation Area
California
BLM>California>Arcata>Noxious Weeds
Print Page
Arcata Field Office

Cape ivy (Delairea odorata) 

Sunflower family (Asteraceae)
Cape Ivy
 Photo courtesy of  Dave Nelson

Description:
 Cape ivy is a perennial vine with shiny, five to six pointed leaves, usually with two small stipule-like lobes. There is one leaf at each node.   Foliage is green to green-yellow and has a distinct odor. Plants have extensive waxy stolons (roots/stems) running above and below ground. Below-ground stems are purple. Each flower is a yellow, round discoid head the size of a dime. Flowers are arranged in groups of twenty or more. 
 
Habitat: Cape ivy can be found climbing over other vegetation in coastal forests typically below 660 feet in elevation. It prefers shady, disturbed sites with year-round moisture, such as stream banks, coastal forests or grasslands in a fog belt, open oak forests, coastal bluff communities, seasonal wetlands, and even a few serpentine soils. 
 
Distribution:  Native to the moist mountain forests of South Africa, Cape ivy now occupies more than 500,000 acres in California.   In California it only spreads vegetatively by fragmentation of stolons. Ninety-five percent of fragments of green stolons containing only one node establish, and drying stolon fragments in full sun for ten weeks does not stop them from rooting.  
 
Flowering period: December to February.