T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Senecio angulatus (Cape ivy)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Asterales
Family:      Asteraceae
Tribe:        Senecioneae
Genus:      Senecio
Species:     S. angulatus
Binomial name: Senecio angulatus
Synonyms: Senecio macropodus
Common names: Cape ivy, Creeping groundsel

Senecio angulatus is a climbing succulent perennial native plant of South Africa. It is a problem weed in New Zealand. It is described ed as scrambling or a twining herb whose form is a dense tangled shrub 2 metres tall or a climber to 6 metres high, that can become an aggressive weed once established smothering the existing native vegetation both in the ground layer and canopy and altering the light climate in the invaded community and sometimes suppressing the regeneration of native plants.
It has succulent, pale green stems, often variegated with pale yellow-green and purple, slightly angular (not upright) and usually sparingly branched. Neither stems nor leaves are hairy.
The leaves are thick, glossy, fleshy with one to three teeth on each side and bluntly lobed with upper leaves becoming smaller with fewer teeth or none at all. Leaves are 3.7 centimetres to 22 centimetres long and 1 centimetre to 14 centimetres wide and occur in 1-4 pairs. Leaf stalks are 1 centimetre to 4 centimetres long. The leaves have stalks or stems which embrace the larger leaf surface which is not lobed, oval to triangularly shaped or very blunt to pointed at the tips and blunt to flat at the base. The leaves can have a frosted look from a powdery coating on the lower side.
Senecio angulatus produces numerous strongly scented flowers in open clusters at the end of its branches or stems. Flowering May to July in New Zealand.
Senecio angulatus is easily dispersed by wind-blown seed, stem fragments, and dumped garden waste.


The topside of a leaf.

The underside of a leaf.

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