Grains Research and Development


Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula)

Pasture dominated by capeweed
in Western Australia.
(Photo A. Storrie)

Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula) is a prostrate, stemless, sprawling annual herb that germinates during autumn and winter. It has hairless, club-shaped cotyledons. The first two leaves grow as a pair, are spear-shaped and may be scalloped. Subsequent leaves grow singly and are deeply lobed with a rounded apex. Leaves are succulent; the upper surface is hairy and the lower surface is covered with a mat of white hairs.

The solitary daisy-like flower heads have brilliant yellow ray florets with blackish purple central disc florets. Seeds are covered in pinkish brown, fluffy, woolly hairs.

Factors that make capeweed a major weed:

  • Is a competitive plant
  • Growing under favourable conditions can produce up to 4300 seeds
  • It persists
  • Can develop resistance to herbicides
  • Can cause animal health problems
  • Is an alternate host for insects and diseases

Further detail about this weed including integrated weed management tactics that could be considered when developing a management plan can be found in the section on problem weeds in the Integrated Weed Management Manual.

Further information

Ecology and biology of common weeds are outlined in section 6 of the Integrated Weed Management Manual.  

Other information

Capeweed control guide, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tas) 

Capeweed reduces crop yield, Department of Agriculture and Food (WA)