Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Arctotheca calendula



Arctotheca calendula (capeweed)


  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2019
  • 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

Top of page Herbaceous


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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.

Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


LesothoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2011); EPPO (2020)
MoroccoPresentEPPO (2020)
South AfricaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2011); EPPO (2020)
TunisiaPresentEPPO (2020)


IsraelPresentEPPO (2020)
JapanPresentEPPO (2020)


BelgiumPresent, Transient under eradicationEPPO (2020)
CzechiaPresent, Transient under eradicationEPPO (2020)
FrancePresentCABI (Undated); EPPO (2020)Present based on regional distribution.
-CorsicaPresentEPPO (2020)
GermanyPresent, Transient under eradicationEPPO (2020)
GreecePresentEPPO (2020)
-CretePresent, Transient under eradicationEPPO (2020)
ItalyPresentEPPO (2020)
-SardiniaPresentEPPO (2020)
-SicilyPresentEPPO (2020)
PortugalPresentEPPO (2020)
-AzoresPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2011); EPPO (2020)
SpainPresentEPPO (2020)
-Balearic IslandsPresentEPPO (2020)
-Canary IslandsPresentSiverio et al. (2011); EPPO (2020)
SwedenPresent, Transient under eradicationEPPO (2020)
United KingdomPresent, Transient under eradicationEPPO (2020)

North America

United StatesPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2011); EPPO (2020)
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedInvasiveUSDA-NRCS (2011); EPPO (2020)


AustraliaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2011); EPPO (2020)
-New South WalesPresentEPPO (2020)
-Northern TerritoryPresentEPPO (2020)
-QueenslandPresentEPPO (2020)
-South AustraliaPresentEPPO (2020)
-TasmaniaPresentEPPO (2020)
-VictoriaPresentEPPO (2020)
-Western AustraliaPresent, WidespreadEPPO (2020)
New ZealandPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2011); EPPO (2020)

South America

ArgentinaPresentEPPO (2020)
ChilePresentEPPO (2020)

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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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

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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