SANParks BSP teams are making a huge impact to combat the spread of Parthenium

By Priscilla Hlongwane
Parthenium is a dreaded alien that grows luxuriantly on roadsides, playgrounds, agricultural areas and residential plots. Seeds are spread by animals, movement of vehicles, wind and water. Seeds can remain in the soil for many years and are capable of germinating anytime when there is moisture. Infestation is spreading at an alarming into the K2C Landscape.

The effects of Parthenium are:
·     In human beings it causes: asthma, fever and burning and blisters around eyes.
·     On crops: Parthenium acts as a collateral host for many diseases caused by viruses in crop plant.
·     In animals (wildlife and livestock) it causes mouth ulcers which inhibits grazing
The well-trained SANParks BSP teams is using a chemical method with the use of the herbicide glyphosate to eradicate this dreaded invasive. This method is very effective in controlling this weed because 15 days after spraying, it causes the complete eradication of Parthenium population.

“To combat Parthenium before it spreads into the Rangelands and the Protected Area System is a priority.” Frans Lesoka said. 

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