Thursday, January 24, 2013

The worst wonder weed - Parthenium Weed!

While I was strolling around in my garden I found a carrot plant grown up by itself! I had not sown any carrot seed earlier. I left it as such to get carrot from it. But as it grew up, it had only a straight stem with smaller leaves unlike that of a carrot plant. It also started to bloom differently.
It is not a carrot plant but Parthenium Weed (Parthenium hysterophorus, Carrot weed, Star weed, Congress weed, Santa Maria Feverfew, 'Mookkuthi poo chedi' in Tamil)

It is a carrot plant-like weed - but a noxious weed. It is seen in nearby fields of my garden, in abundance. Seeds from those plants have been blown by winds towards my garden! Thus this weed spreads easily and extensively and now it is seen everywhere in all the wastelands. It is an annual weed that grows up to one metre. Whitish flowers and brownish seeds are borne on it throughout the year.

This weed apart from being a nuisance to the farmers, is injurious to both humans and cattle; it has toxin in all its parts. In humans it causes diseases like Asthma, Bronchitis and Dermatitis. It is said that its spread can be controlled by spraying Common salt solution on it. I simply weed it out by plucking it out and up from the earth - it comes out easily (it grows well only in or near moist soil); then I dispose it by burning.
This parasitic weed has become a worst wonder weed in India since it sneaked into India from USA through wheat imports in 1950s!

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