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Durban Early Detection and Rapid Response

Crofton Weed Ageratina adenophora

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Common Name
Crofton Weed
Classification
CARA Category 1
NEMBA 1b

This perennial evergreen is an herbaceous shrub that is a member of the Asteracea family, and originates from Central America (Mexico). It has opposite trowel-shaped serrated leaves that are 6–10 cm in length and 3–6 cm in width. The small compound flowers occur between August and December, and are found in terminal clusters. Each flower head is up to 0.5 cm in diameter and creamy white in colour. They are followed by a small brown seed with a white feathery 'parachute'. This plant is poisonous.

Why is it a problem?
It competes with, and has the potential to replace, indigenous species. It is poisonous to horses.
Control method
Small infestations must be removed to prevent the plant developing into large infestations which can be a lot more difficult to control. Cultivation, grubbing, hoeing and burning, along with planting of competitive pastures combined with fertilisation, will control the weed in accessible areas. Natural enemies have been released as part of a biological control programme. Herbicides are also available for this.
Where is it a problem?
KwaZulu-Natal

Identifying other species

For help with identifying other species, submit your photo and observations to
iSpot: www.ispot.org.za

The iSpot experts may be able to provide a name.

 

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