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PlantFiles: African Calendula, Cape Weed, Cape Daisy, Cape Marigold
Arctotheca calendula

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Arctotheca (ark-toh-THEK-uh) (Info)
Species: calendula (ka-LEN-dew-luh) (Info)

Synonym:Arctotis calendula
Synonym:Cryptostemma calendulacea

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Moonjala On Jun 22, 2014, Moonjala from Atlantic Beach, FL wrote:

Not at all invasive in my area (FL - zone 8/9). Died back during the winter and then promptly returned as it warmed. It's bushy and beautiful now.

Positive RosinaBloom On Nov 1, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

Arctotheca calendula is a plant commonly known as cape weed, cape dandelion, or cape marigold because it originates from the Cape Province in South Africa. It is listed as a noxious weed, however, it is cultivated as an attractive ornamental groundcover, but has invasive potential when introduced to a new area.
Capeweed is fairly tolerant to grazing, is more soil acidifying than clover on a per kg basis, tends to have higher cadmium levels than clover and grasses and Zinc, supplies about 3 times more cadmium to grazing animals than clover or annual ryegrass in typical field conditions, has higher levels of copper and molybdenum and lower levels of sulphur than clover during the growing season, has greater nitrogen uptake than either wheat or lupins which reduces nitrate leaching in cropping systems, and is very efficient at absorbing, storing and reducing soil nitrate levels in pasture systems.

Positive peejay12 On Apr 5, 2010, peejay12 from Porthleven, Helston, Cornwall
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

I wish I could grow this plant as easily as the New Zealander and the Australian!

This plant grows rather strangely from seed.The first year it produces a very flat plant with ragged leaves, hardly any flowers, and looks like a squashed dandelion!

I was going to throw them away in disgust in the spring, when one plant produced this beautiful creamy yellow, black-centred flower. From then on the plants transformed into wide-spreading plants like Osteospermums, but far prettier, and flowered until autumn (fall).

Unfortunately, I could not obtain cuttings or seed and they died during the first frost.

Negative melangemerchant On Jun 1, 2006, melangemerchant from Adelaide
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant is a serious environmental weed in Southern areas of Australia. Seeds travel long distances on the wind. Plant prefers dry bare ground and is a serious weed of pastures.Covers large areas and excludes other species.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clovis, California
Atlantic Beach, Florida

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