Review Article

Scope of research on Parthenium hysterophorus in Africa

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 34, issue 5, 2017 , pages: 323–332
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2016.1266046
Author(s): Owen RubabaCollege of Health Sciences, South Africa, Moses ChimbariCollege of Health Sciences, South Africa, Samson MukaratirwaSchool of Life Sciences, South Africa


Parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) is an invasive plant that invades farm and grazing lands, and affects biodiversity, animal and human health, agricultural productivity and food security. The plant is native to the Americas, but was introduced to Africa, Asia and Australia where it has established itself. Although much research effort has focused on the need to understand and combat the spread of P. hysterophorus, there are significant gaps in knowledge regarding its impacts on human and animal health, efficient control methods and economic impacts. The spread of parthenium has been successfully managed in Australia and India using biological agents such as insects, pathogens and competitive smother plant species, raising hopes that the spread in Africa may also be contained. This review examines research that has been conducted on parthenium in Africa with a view to identifying gaps for further research and control of the invasive plant.

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