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Have you seen Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata)?
Hawaii Early Detection Network Priority Pest for the island of Oahu

Cape ivy leaf
Cape Ivy leaves are 1-4" long with ear appendage at base of each leaf
Cape Ivy flowers and seeds
Cape Ivy flowers and seeds
Cape Ivy smothering habit
Cape Ivy has a smothering habit

Identification: Cape ivy is an aggressive, smothering vine that can grow up to 6 meters long. It has been widely used across the world as an ornamental and is known to easily escape from cultivation. Its leaves are "ivy-shaped," broad, up to 4" wide and 2.4" long. Many leaves have small "ears" at their base. It produces flowers that are tube-shaped, yellow, and clustered along the stems or at the tips of the stems. Its seeds are small and dandelion like. All parts of the plant have a characteristic odor.
Impacts:This rapid-growing vine climbs shrubs and trees to form impenetrable mats that shade the plants beneath it, smothering native vegetation and preventing regeneration. Cape ivy has the potential to occupy a variety of ecological zones in Hawai'i and could threaten areas of native shrubland and dry and mesic forests. Its shallow root system can lead to erosion and it contains alkaloids that are toxic to humans, mammals, and aquatic organisms. Once established, this vine is very hard to eliminate, requiring numerous treatments over many years.
Dispersal Mechanism: Cape ivy spreads vegetatively by runners or stem fragments that are capable of resprouting after they have been broken off and by its tiny, wind-dispersed seeds. Very small pieces of the stem can grow into a new infestation. Plants are moved long distances in contaminated garden waste and soil.
Cultivation:: The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources considers cape ivy one of Hawaii's most invasive horticultural plants. It has been classified as "High Risk" by the Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment and should not be cultivated.

More information about this pest external link

Cape Ivy look-alikes:

English Ivy (Hedera helix):
English ivy is a nonative vine that has a similar leaf shape as cape ivy. It does not have the ear like appendage at the base of the leaf stalk.


English Ivy

English Ivy (Hedera helix)
All images this page, except where noted: Forest & Kim Starr

'Anunu (Sicyos spp.):
'Anunu is a rare native vine in the cucumber family with similar leaves to cape ivy. 'Anunu vines are covered in black dots with leaves that have toothed edges.

'Anunu vine

'Anunu leaves and flowers

Last Updated: Tuesday October 30 2012. If you have any questions about the Hawaii Early Detection Network contact
Funding and support for this project was made possible by the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry assistance, and University of Hawai'i-Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit.