Famine Weed

Famine weed (Parthenium hysterophorus) is one of the 559 invasive species listed in the Regulations, which is an inconspicuous, daisy-like plant from South America that is spreading across northern KwaZulu-Natal. It has the potential to invade all but the driest parts of South Africa, and most of Africa. Fields of famine weed, as the name implies, will wreak economic, ecological and health havoc. Neither South Africa’s stock nor game species can survive in these invaded areas. Crop production will be unaffordable. Allergies and skin lesions in humans will abound, and respiratory diseases will worsen. It is truly a Frankenstein plant, an unwanted and relentless gatecrasher in our country.