Pest plant - Two leaf cape tulip
Cape tulip (
) is a perennial herb to 60cm high. The plant is toxic to grazing animals.
perennial herb to 60cm with annual leaves and flowers growing from an underground bulb
plant has 2-3 leaves which are flat, 1-2cm x 1m
flowers are small and numerous, 2-4cm in diameter with six pink petals and yellow bases dotted with green
root system is fine, shallow and fibrous.
Why is it a problem?
all parts of two-leaf cape tulip are toxic to grazing animals
stock accustomed to grazing on infested pasture are not affected as they know not to eat the plants, this results in desirable pasture species being replaced by the plant.
Eyre Peninsula – isolated outbreaks and very light infestations
Northern pastoral – small, scattered infestations around Eurelia
Northern agricultural districts and Yorke Peninsula – scattered infestations
Murray Mallee – isolated outbreaks in the Eden Valley area
South East – scattered infestations
Central – small isolated patches.
grows on range of soil types, but usually on heavy soils in sunny locations
less common than One-leaf cape tulip, although the two species may grow together
bulbs germinate after autumn rain, new bulbs form before the flowers appear in September
does not produce seeds, instead large numbers of tiny bulbs form in the angle of each leaf and around the bulb at base of plant
bulbs can stay dormant in the soil until a favourable season
plant can grow up to 20,000 tiny bulbs per square metre.
How it spreads
bulbs spread in contaminated soil and produce
also spreads via attachment to farm machinery and stock.
Pest plants (web page)