Zandvlei Trust

Exotic invasive water plants

Produced by the City of Cape Town in collaberation with the Sand River Catchment Forum.


Read the content.                              See the target plant species for the Peninsula.

2016.                                                                                                updated 03/03/2016.

 See the artilce by John Fowkes published in Footprint celebratting World Wetlands Day 2016.



The water is black in colour and it had a strong mineral oil smell on 14/02/2015.

The grass in the water is just below the surface. Nothing was visible below the grass.

A distinct "oily"substance can be seen on the surface at the confluence of the Westlake and Keysers Rivers on 14/02/2015.

The confluence has nearly all the recorded water invasive species.



The Zandvlei Catchment Team.

This team was appointed on a contract in mid January 2012.

See what they are doing.


It was first found in this part of catchment in March 2009 (species identified by Candice Haskins March 2009, see above).
This invassive water weed was manually removed by the Zandvlei Nature Reserve staff members.
Please keep a look out for this species and report it as soon as you can to the Manager of the Zandvlei Nature Reserve on 021 701 7542.

Sand River and Langevlei channel.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby                                                   photograph by Cassy Sheasby

The Sand River between Wildwood Island and          Lakeside suburb in the western background.
the Nature Reserve. 

photograph by Cassy Sheasby                                                   photograph by Cassy Sheasby

Marina da Gama in the background looking from      Note the yellow flower in the centre of the photo.
the Nature Reserve across the Sand River.             
Ludwigia stolonifera Willow Herb.

Ludwigia stolonifera Willow Herb was also confirmed in the higher reaches of the Westlake River in March 2009 as well.

Rorippa nasturtium - aquaticum Water cress was found washed down from Princess and Little Princess Vleis during flooding in Feb / March 2009.
These two completely clogged Sand River lower sections and we had to manually remove these plants in March.

Cassy Sheasby (Manager - Zandvlei Nature Reserve).

Purple Loosestrife Lythrum salicaria.

This flyer was produced by The Friends Of Liesbeek, Dave and Liz Wheeler. This is a very invassive plant difficult and very expensive to eradicate. It is in the Liesbeek River. They are working at eradicating it.

If you see it in any other waterway please report it to the nearest City of Cape Town Enviromental Management office.

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This is a new invassive plant in the Liesbeek River. Please be on the watch out for this plant in the Sand River Catchment and please report it, if seen, to Cassy Sheasby the Manager of Zandvlei Nature Reserve.


Closeup of the flowers.                                                Plant with flowers in bloom.

More information about Purple Loosestrife.

Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes


See the work the Westlake Task Team are doing.


"The Kingfisher" water weed harvester clearing hyacinth at the Rutter Road Pond and confluence of the Westlake and Keysers Rivers, in April 2008.

photographs by Robin Burnett

Robin Burnett photographed the Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) in the Westlake River  - December 2006. It is smothering the Waterblommetjie (Aponogeton distachyos) plants in the forground, small white flowers. Enlarged flower to the right.


photograph by Steve Davis

The confluence of the Westlake and Keysers Rivers at the railway bridge looking west towards Steenberg and Constantiaberg, before the water enters the western side of Zandvlei. It is at the height of summer and one can almost watch the weed grow. Taken in 2004.

photograph by Steve Davis

The same place only with the Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) cleared. Not only does the weed extract oxygen and nutrients from the water, it creates a physical barrier for recreational users and is a huge potential cause for flooding.   Taken in 2004.


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