Medium sized wasp (15-40mm) with yellow and black markings on abdomen and black antennae. The nests are papery and are normally built underground, however in urban settings they do sometimes produce the paper ball-like nests above ground under ceilings or inside wall cavities. This wasp is aggressive, especially if the nest or surrounding areas are disturbed. Nests should not be removed by public as protective equipment is essential.
Medium sized wasp (20-30mm) with yellow and black markings on abdomen and orange antennae. The nests are always above ground and can easily distinguished from those of Vespula germanica in that the nest cells are visible on the underside of nests. Where present, these wasps are common on lawns where they forage for caterpillars and other prey. Nests can be sprayed with supermarket insecticide approved for flying insects. Fog nests and wasps early in the morning or in the evening.
The Common house crow - or previously known as the Indian house crow - (Corvus splendens) is a glossy black bird, with a grey or grey-brown neck and breast. The bird has a fairly slender body with a medium sized bill – the smallest crow in South Africa. Its bill, legs and feet are black.
The Common house crow is often confused with indigenous species, the pied crow (Corvus albus), the black crow (Corvus capensis) and the white-necked raven (Corvus albicollis).
This perennial clump-forming grass bears pink to purple seed heads. However, inflorescences can develop from light green (immature) to tan or light buff in colour (mature) with little or no traces of pink. The slender (0.2-0.4 cm wide), arching leaves grow to 0.6 m. The flowers and seeds grow as dense, cylindrical, bristly panicles 8-35 cm long on stalks that can reach 1.2 m in height. Leaf sheaths are usually smooth but often have edges lined with white hairs.
Madeira vine is a creeper from South America with wide, fleshy, waxy heart-shaped leaves, bright green in colour. It produces fragrant creamy spikes, about 10cm long with numerous individual small flowers resembling a lamb’s tail. Flowering period: Feb-May. This creeper produces tubers (5mm-25cm) light-brown or green potato-like tubers along the stem, which fall to the ground and sprout. If not controlled properly, this species can cause substantial ecological damage by smothering indigenous vegetation.
Acacia podalyriifolia is one of the most popular and widely cultivated of wattles. It is an evergreen shrub or tree growing 3-6m high, with silvery-grey to dull green, oval, velvety leaves. Flowers are bright yellow, spherical and appear in long, showy sprays from June to August. Greyish brown, velvety seed pods are usually 30-80 mm long and 15-20mm wide.
A succulent and perennial plant from tropical South America introduced as ornamental and barrier plant. It is a spiny vine in the Cactaceae family with strongly scented flowers in white, cream or pinkish, 2.5–5 cm diameter. The leaves are 4–11 cm long and 1.5–4 cm broad, simple, entire, and deciduous in the dry season. Younger stems have hooked thorns and older stems have clusters of woody spines. Leaves and fruits are edible and the seeds are spread by birds and other animals feeding on the fruit.
Bryophyllum delagoense (commonly known as Chandelier plant or Mother-of-Millions) is an erect, hairless succulent perennial originating from Madagascar. Growing from 30cm to 1.2m in height, its stems are pinkish-brown to greyish in colour. The leaves are shaped like a pencil, pale green to pale brown in colour, with dark green patches and a shallow groove on the upper surface. There are up to seven projections at the tip of each leaf which when broken off can develop into new plants. Competes with indigenous species and is very poisonous to humans and animals. Its flowers are orange-red in colour and group in a cluster at the top of a single stem. It flowers in June and July.
An erect, perennial herbaceous plant with hairy stem and leaves. Tall flower spikes above the plant with bright pink fluffy flower heads surrounded by purple bracts from December to March. The slightly serrated leaves closest to the ground are dense and large (80mm long by 20mm wide), decreasing in size and density higher up the plant. The flowers give way to a cluster of greyish-brown wind-dispersed seeds not dissimilar to a dandelion arrangement (only more robust and dense). This plant is native to Central and South America.
This is an unarmed, multi-stemmed shrub, native to Europe and growing to 1,5m-2,5m in height, with upright long and slender cylindrical green branches. The leaves are simple, undivided, silky beneath and blue-green in colour. Fragrant yellow flowers 25mm long and in racemes 300-400mm long are produced from August to November. Seeds consist of flattened brown pods up to 75mm long, initially covered with silky white hairs.