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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Sword fern

Nephrolepis exaltata

Common name:

Sword fern

Scientific name:

Nephrolepis exaltata (Nephrolepidaceae)

Alternative common names:

Boston fern; maidenhair; maidenhair fern (English), swaardvaring (Afrikaans)

A tufted evergreen fern growing up to 1m high which forms extensive colonies by means of stolons. The bright green leaves are approximately 1m long by 60mm wide. It has arching to erect, linear fronds with shallowly toothed, sickle-shaped pinnae.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    North and Central America.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 Category 1 NEMBA Category 1b in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Eastern and Western Cape. NEMBA Category 3 in Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North-West and Northern Cape.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga

    How does it spread?

    Spreads by spores and stolons.

    Why is it a problem?

    It may competes with and replaces indigenous species when forming thick infestations.

    What does it look like?

    General description: A tufted evergreen fern up to 1m high which forms extensive colonies. Leaves: Bright green leaves up to 1m by 60mm Flowers: None Fruit/seeds: Fruiting-bodies are brown and about 1,5mm wide.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    A popular ornamental fern.

    Plant me instead alternatives

    Nephrolepis biserrata

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more