Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Arctotheca calendula



Arctotheca calendula (capeweed)


  • Last modified
  • 08 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Arctotheca calendula
  • Preferred Common Name
  • capeweed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Arctotheca calendula has the potential to infest turf and pasture and can compete with economically important crops. It can cause allergies and dermatitis in sensitive individuals and also negatively affects st...

  • Principal Source
  • US Federal Noxious Weed List (draft fact sheet 2011)

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Arctotheca calendula (L.) Levyns

Preferred Common Name

  • capeweed

Other Scientific Names

  • Arctotis calendula L.
  • Cryptostemma calendula (L.) Druce
  • Cryptostemma calendulacea R. Br.
  • Venidium decurrens hort.

International Common Names

  • English: cape marigold; plain treasure-flower
  • Spanish: filigrana pequena
  • Portuguese: erva-gorda; venidium

EPPO code

  • AROCA (Arctotheca calendula)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Arctotheca calendula has the potential to infest turf and pasture and can compete with economically important crops. It can cause allergies and dermatitis in sensitive individuals and also negatively affects stock production.

A. calendula was first identified in the USA in 200,1 in California, and was added to the US Federal Noxious Weed List and seed list in 2010.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Asterales
  •                         Family: Asteraceae
  •                             Genus: Arctotheca
  •                                 Species: Arctotheca calendula


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A. calendula is a rosette-forming perennial usually infesting disturbed, urban, and coastal habitats. It prefers a good amount of sun and sandy, well-drained soil. It can grow up to 25 centimeters tall (10 inches) and exhibits purple or yellow daisy-like flowers that can reach 6 centimeters (2.5 inches) in diameter. The plant is pollinated primarily by butterflies. A sterile, vegetatively reproducing yellow-flowered race is not currently regulated in California, but is noted by some to escape from cultivation. This form is now considered a separate species, A. prostrata, sometimes sold in the nursery trade. The invasive A. calendula is regulated in California has purple-tinged disc flowers, is seed-producing, and listed as a category A weed.

Plant Type

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A. calendula was first identified in 2001, when USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine officers detected A. calendula achenes in oats imported from Australia as livestock feed. The plant currently can be found in the coastal prairies in the San Francisco Bay area and on California’s north coast.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


IsraelPresentEPPO, 2014
JapanPresentEPPO, 2014


LesothoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2011; EPPO, 2014
MoroccoPresentEPPO, 2014
South AfricaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-Canary IslandsPresentSiverio et al., 2011; EPPO, 2014
TunisiaPresentEPPO, 2014

North America

USAPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2011; EPPO, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentEPPO, 2014
ChilePresentEPPO, 2014


BelgiumTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014
Czech RepublicTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014
FrancePresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-CorsicaPresentEPPO, 2014
GermanyTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014
GreecePresentEPPO, 2014
-CreteTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014
ItalyPresentEPPO, 2014
-SardiniaPresentEPPO, 2014
-SicilyPresentEPPO, 2014
PortugalPresentEPPO, 2014
-AzoresPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2011; EPPO, 2014
SpainPresentEPPO, 2014
-Balearic IslandsPresentEPPO, 2014
SwedenTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014
UKTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014


AustraliaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2011; EPPO, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentEPPO, 2014
-New South WalesPresentEPPO, 2014
-QueenslandPresentEPPO, 2014
-South AustraliaPresentEPPO, 2014
-TasmaniaPresentEPPO, 2014
-VictoriaPresentEPPO, 2014
-Western AustraliaWidespreadEPPO, 2014
New ZealandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2011; EPPO, 2014

Habitat List

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Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Principal habitat
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat
Coastal areas Principal habitat

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Hitchhiker Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Plants or parts of plants Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds Yes

Impact Summary

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Economic/livelihood Negative

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
Impact mechanisms
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

Uses List

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  • Ornamental


  • Poisonous to mammals

Prevention and Control

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A pest risk assessment completed by APHIS, USA (Lehtonen, 2003) ranked A. calendula high for both consequences of introduction and likelihood of introduction, resulting in a ranking of high overall risk potential and the species was added to the US Federal Noxious Weed List and seed list in 2010.


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Cal-IPC. Arctotheca calendula (sterile/fertile capeweed). California Invasive Plant Council. Accessed 15 June 2009.

Lehtonen, Polly. 2003. Weed Risk Assessment for Arctotheca calendula (L.) Levyns (cape weed) Version 6. Revised February 2009 by Shirley Wager-Pagé.

Principal Source

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US Federal Noxious Weed List (draft fact sheet 2011)

Distribution Maps

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