Alien Invasive Species in South Africa

Knysna has the dubious record of having a  tally of 160  Alien Invasive Species, there may be more, please let us know if you have seen specimens which do not appear on this list.  Through this blog we endeavour to inform the public of the most prevalent species in our area.  Many of these invaders were planted  years ago by homeowners looking for hardy, showy plants that can  thrive in the garden,  many of them since have jumped the fence.  Little did we know that by planting those shrubs or trees, we were negatively impacting the local ecosystem and we were endangering our families.We urge all property owners to take ownership of invader plants growing on their properties and to deal with it according to the categories set out by the legislation.

Some of these plants  are toxic and many are grown in home gardens, some grow wild in the forest or field and some are common weeds. They all pose some risk to humans and animals if consumed or, in some cases, handled by people, however the risk varies from species to species. A few of the plants identified  have been known to cause permanent disability or even death in the past, whilst others have only been reported as causing rashes, vomiting or other unpleasant (but not life threatening) reactions.

Level 3 (life-threatening effects threshold)   Plants extremely toxic,   has been known to cause injury, permanent disability, and in some cases, death.

Level 2 (escape-impairment threshold)  Potentially very toxic,  depending on the level of exposure.

Level 1  (mild effects threshold) Pollen or perfume from this plant can cause respiratory problems. Irritant to skin or eyes from sap, prickles, spines or stinging hairs.

For more in-depth species information about alien invaders in Knysna and surrounding areas,  log on to: