Cape Town Invasives News

Controlling Patterson’s curse along the Black River

Controlling Patterson’s curse along the Black River

Two species, Echium vulgare (blue echium) and E. plantagineum (purple echium) were introduced for ornamental purposes and are now common weeds in South Africa and other parts of the world. This herbaceous plant has a strong taproot, attractive purple flowers and sets thousands of seeds per plant every spring, making it a difficult plant to control.  Echium also known as Patterson's curse is becoming a serious invader of disturbed areas in Cape Town such as roadsides and public open spaces. One of these public open spaces where Echium is a major weed is below Vincent Palotti Hospital near the N2 – M5 intersection. Different control methods are being tested and the results are carefully monitored to determine the best combination and timing of control.

Echium below Vincent Palotti