Cape Tulip

South Africa

General description

Small, herbaceous perennial <90cm tall. Distinctive zigzag-shaped stem. Tough leaves rise from stem bases, arch over to trail their tips in the soil. Funnel-shaped flowers (Sept-Nov) orange-scarlet to salmon pink with yellow at base of petals. Many seeds in narrow, cylindrical capsule. Corms multiply rapidly & can be very small (i.e. the size of a wheat grain).

Farm pasture, open areas.

Seeds & corms produced in thousands & can build up to millions per acre. Corms persistent & moved about by animals, runoff & machinery.

All parts of plant are highly poisonous to humans & livestock. Prolific breeding capacity & persistence.

Site management

All sites must be reported to MAF.

Recommended approaches

1. Control under MAF direction.
2. Clear small sites by hand removing all corms. Small corm size makes this difficult. Hexazinone, a root herbicide, gives some control. Use with extreme caution as this is residual in soil but has low toxicity to animals. Will leach in wet soils so spray during dry periods &/or dig a trench around the treated area to minimise adverse effect to surrounding areas (70g hexazinone/10L over 100 square meters).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
cape tulip - Main species image