Red eye

Acacia cyclops
Red eye wattle: Acacia cyclops Red eye wattle: Acacia cyclops

Common name:

Red eye wattle

Scientific name:

Acacia cyclops (Fabaceae)

Alternative common names:

Rooikrans

One of many wattle species originating from Australia, Rooikrans is a serious invader of the Cape Floristic Kingdom.

Evergreen shrub 1.5-4m high, with bright green elongated leaves and yellow flowers, was brought to South Africa for the primary purpose of stabilising shifting sand dunes in the Western Cape.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    South-western Australia

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    CARA 2002 – Category 2 NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    In coastal areas, from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape.

    How does it spread?

    Seeds dispersed by birds and animals.

    Why is it a problem?

    Red eye is a problem because competes with indigenous species for resources, which threatens biodiversity. It also has the ability to increase the severity of fire.

    What does it look like?

    General description: An evergreen shrub 1.5-4m high, with bright green elongated leaves and yellow flowers, which was brought to South Africa for the primary purpose of stabilising shifting sand dunes in the Western Cape. Leaves: Straight, bright green leaves, with prominent parallel veins. Flowers: All year round (mainly October to February), with bright yellow globe-shaped flower heads. Fruit/seeds: Broad brown twisted pods, with black seeds encircles by a row of bright red.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Red eye is used in the commercial firewood industry in Western Cape.

    Plant me instead alternatives

    Sand olive (Dodonea angustifolia)