Cape tulip

Cape tulip produces a single, green, strap-like leaf in moist autumn conditions from a perennial corm or seed, developing a stem of flowers with a yellow centre and six orange petals.

Cape tulip seeds are spread by water and wind, by attaching to livestock, within livestock manure, and in hay and silage. The seeds can also be spread by corms in infested soil on farm machinery and road making machinery.

Cape tulips are toxic to stock with symptoms like scouring, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, blindness, depression dysentery and morbidity.

Herbicide control should be done from August to September on germinated plants. Cultivation, turning the soil or burning, after first control will encourage a second germination to occur allowing for additional control.

Management calendar

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Control options


Due to legal requirements the PHBG does not recommend specific herbicides.

Please follow the links below to specific chemical control options for Cape tulip.


Cape tulip corms can often break off and be left in the soil when mechanical control is attempted.

First loosen the soil so all corms can be removed gently.

Corms can be burnt or drenched in diesel.

Slashing, mowing, grazing and cultivation are usually ineffective, with plants growing back until corms are exhausted.


Possible biocontrol agents are being investigated.

PHBG Weed Wiper Hire

Sign up early to reduce disappointment. The PHBG want you to register now to hire their weed wipers.

'The short control window associated with Cape tulip means waiting until its orange flowers appear to remind you to hire some equipment might mean you miss out. In 2021 one Cape tulip weed wiper already has around 10 weeks of landholder registrations assigned before the season began', says PHBG weed education officer.

Cape tulip is a toxic, declared weed which had perfect growing conditions in 2020. Some properties across the PHBG operational area saw a surprising increase in plant germinations.

At any one time, 60% of Cape tulip seeds in the soil can lie dormant, meaning substantial germination events can happen even after successful weed control has occurred.

The PHBG now have a trailer that can transport the weed wipers between properties as well as a smaller model for properties 10 acres or smaller.