Durban Early Detection and Rapid Response

Guinea-hen weed Petiveria alliacea

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Common Name
Guinea-hen weed

Perennial shrub indigenous to Central and South America (Phytolaccaceae), which can grow 2 m tall and has simple, smooth, glossy-green leaves. Small white or pink flowers are produced on long, branched racemes from spring to autumn. Fruit are 1 cm long achenes with hooks that attach to fur or clothes and can thus travel significant distances from the parent plant.

Why is it a problem?
It competes with indigenous species and can spread considerable distance through epizoochory. It can cause nitrate poisoning in cattle if browsed regularly.
Control method
Physically uprooting
Where is it a problem?
KwaZulu-Natal, eThekwini region in particular.

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