As I walked from the Warrane Community Garden I now noticed massive spreads of Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula) on the footpath verges along Heemskirk St. When I looked at front lawns, clearly they were all infested with this weed – lovely and green, but taking over so that the lawn grass wasn’t getting a chance.
I continued through the streets and now, everywhere I looked, this invasive weed was in all gardens one way or another, and always in the grassy verges next to where I walked.
Considering the volume of Capeweed plants in the neighbourhood, I considered that it must be growing in my lawn and/or garden and wondered why I hadn’t noticed it. As I walked along my street, all my neighbours had Capeweed plants. The further away from the Warrane Community Garden the fewer numbers of weeds, nevertheless they were everywhere. I made a mental note to encourage my direct neighbours to ensure they didn’t flower, and that if they did, then to cut/chop off the flower as quickly as possible.
At home I studied every nook and cranny in my garden and looked closely at my patch of lawn. Nothing. Not one Capeweed plant. How extraordinary. How fortunate. May it continue so!
Curious this South African invasion. I have a smattering of Cape Weed in my ‘lawn’, such as it is (mostly weeds of one sort or another). Incidentally, another South African escapee is the ubiquitous Agapanthus, found all around our neighbourhood. Here this is actually considered a garden plant more so than a weed, however it is very invasive and loves the sandy soil of my seaside location. Apparently it comes from the area around East London (South Africa) where my mother and grandmother lived for much of their lives. So maybe I’m on a par with these plants – a weed with South African origins?!
I had the rapacious agapanthus in my front garden when I first bought the house. It was an extraordinarily challenging time getting out all the roots. Some had even crossed under the concrete driveway. At that time I checked if it was a declared weed and it wasnt. Nurseries are still allowed to sell it and people who plant it have no idea about their future problems. At least the Capeweed is comparatively easily removed if the tap root isnt broken on extraction. As for you – no chance you are a weed. You are the King Protea!