Cape tulip under the spotlight

Hitting hard: A campaign against the toxic weed, cape tulip, will ramp up this month. Photo: supplied.
Hitting hard: A campaign against the toxic weed, cape tulip, will ramp up this month. Photo: supplied.

Fire is the main tool of regeneration for the Australian bush, but sometimes it can also allow the spread of non-native species, which is why a campaign to control the toxic weed, cape tulip, will take place this month.

Since the 2019/20 bushfires cape tulip has grown significant across the island, presenting a serious threat to grazing animals because of its toxicity.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions is coordinating a campaign which will include multiple methods of support and control to stop the spread of the weed.

The campaign will includes subsidies to landholders of up to $3000 or half the purchase of equipment, including weed wipers and boom sprays, which was purchased between February 2020 and June 30, 2022.

Weed control officers from across South Australia will also spend a week on the island to help local officers with the control of cape tulip in creek lines and native vegetation on the South Coast.

To help landholders in other fire-affected areas weed control contractors will be available to assist them.

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island animal and plant control officer Jason Walter said cape tulip was easy to spot as it has a strap-like leaf and orange flowers when it blooms in early spring.

"Given the life-cycle of the weed and its reproduction, it is crucial to treat the weed between the end of June and the start of September, before the weed starts to flower and seed," Mr Walter said.

"As the seed can be spread by wind and water, as well as in produce, the transport along a public road of Cape tulip plants, or any material or equipment containing the plants, is prohibited under the NRM Act."

"Cape tulip corms and seed can be spread in contaminated soil or mud by farm machinery or stock and can even be transported in hay cut from infested paddocks."

- Details: For more information, including eligibility for the equipment subsidy, visit or contact the PIRSA office in Kingscote on 8553 4949.