Bulrushes expected to ‘fluff’ around beginning of autumn

13 Apr 2018 Posted by in Environment | Comments


13 APRIL 2018 – a bit late guys but better late than never I guess


The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management Department wants to assure residents living in areas such as Grassy Park, Lotus River, Pelican Park, Milnerton and parts of Table View that they should not be concerned when they see white fluff blowing around, as these are seeds being released from bulrushes (Typha capensis) and do not cause any serious health threats. This natural event occurs every autumn and the seeds are usually spread by the south-easterly winds.
Every year, towards the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, bulrushes (Typha capensis) release their seeds over the course of a few weeks. These seeds are usually spread by the south-easterly winds and stick to items that are outside such as the washing, houses, cars, fences and even people.

Bulrush (Typha capensis)

Residents living in areas such as Grassy Park, Lotus River, Pelican Park, Milnerton and parts of Table View will likely be affected by this natural event.

‘Residents are reminded that the seeds, resembling white fluff, do not pose any serious health risks. The City’s Environmental Management Department makes every effort to try to remove some of the ripe seed heads before the release of the seeds in order to minimise the inconvenience to residents. However, this has a limited effect on the scale of the problem.

‘Residents can minimise the impact of bulrush fluff by keeping their washing off lines and their faces covered on windy days, as well as by preventing the pollution of wetlands,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

The bulrush is an indigenous aquatic plant that is found in southern and eastern Africa. Once pollutants and nutrients have entered a wetland, through channels such as stormwater disposed of by humans, the bulrush becomes invasive. There is very little that can be done to remove them. As a result, the bulrushes grow prolifically in response to the pollutants and nutrients, often at the expense of other indigenous plants species and outcompete them for light, water and food. It also diminishes water surface areas for recreational activities and impacts on the functioning of the ecosystems they invade.

For more information on the City’s nature reserves, please visit

Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries:
Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member: Transport and Urban Development Authority, City of Cape Town,
Tel: 021 400 1298 or Cell: 082 518 3264,
E-mail: (please always copy

Thanks FoZR for the notification

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