Parthenium hysterophorus

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Parthenium hysterophorus
Parthenium hysterophorus plant with flowers.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Parthenium
Species: P. hysterophorus
Binomial name
Parthenium hysterophorus

Parthenium hysterophorus is a species of flowering plant in the aster family, Asteraceae, that is native to the American tropics.[1] Common names include Santa Maria Feverfew and Whitetop Weed.[2] It is a common invasive species[3] in India,[4] Australia, and parts of Africa. P. hysterophorus invades all disturbed land, including farms [5][6][7][8][9] pastures, and roadsides. In some areas, outbreaks have been of almost epidemic proportions, affecting crop production, livestock and human health.[10][11] In India, it is locally known as Congress Grass or Gajar Ghans.[12] It was first present as a contaminant in imported wheat.[13] It can trigger allergies and is a common cause of pollen allergy.[14]


Contact with this plant causes dermatitis and respiratory malfunction in humans, dermatitis in cattle and domestic animals, due to the presence of toxin parthenin.[15][16] The presence of Parthenium pollen grains inhibits fruit set in tomato, brinjal, beans, etc., and is also responsible for bitter milk disease in livestock fed on grass mixed with its leaves.[1]

Parthenium in Achanakmar Tiger Reserve


A beetle native to Mexico, Zygogramma bicolorata, was first introduced to India in 1984, and has since become widespread and well-established, and is capable of defoliating and killing this weed.[2] P. hysterophorus has been found to be resistant to glyphosate, a popular systemic herbicide, prohibiting its control in this manner. Paraquat (Gramxone) solution is sometimes applied to plants, when the weeds are young. If the population in a cultivated field is light, it can be removed manually.


  1. ^ a b "Taxon: Parthenium hysterophorus L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  2. ^ "Parthenium hysterophorus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  3. ^ "Parthenium hysterophorus (herb)". Global Invasive Species Database. Invasive Species Specialist Group. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  4. ^ Oudhia, P. (2000).Parthenium hysterophorus : a new weed in upland rice fields of the Chhattisgarh Plains (India).International Rice Research Notes (IRRN).25.1:34.
  5. ^ Oudhia, P. (2000).Allelopathic effects of Parthenium hysterophorus and Ageratum conyzoides on wheat var.Sujata. Crop Research 20(3):563-566
  6. ^ Oudhia, P. (2000).Positive (inhibitory) allelopathic effects of Parthenium hysterophorus leaves on germination and seedling vigour of sunflower. Crop Research 20(3):560-562.
  7. ^ Oudhia, P. (2001).Allelopathic effects of leachates and extracts of different parts of an obnoxious weed Parthenium hysterophorus L. on germination and seedling vigour of selected crops. Ecol. Env. and Cons. 7(4):427-434.
  8. ^ Oudhia, P. and Tripathi, R.S. (1998). Allelopathic effects of Parthenium hysterophorus L. on Kodo, Mustard and problematic weeds. Proc. First International Conference on Parthenium Management (Vol. II) UAS, Dharwad 6-8 Oct. 1997: 136-139.
  9. ^ Oudhia, P., Kolhe, S.S. and Tripathi, R.S. (1997) Allelopathic effect of Parthenium hysterophorus L. on germination of Linseed. Indian J. Plant Physiol. 2 (4). 327-329.
  10. ^ Gebeyehu, Adane Kebede (2008). The distributions of parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L. Asteraceae) and some of its socio-economic and ecological impacts in the Central Rift Valley, Adami Tulu-Jido Kombolcha Woreda; Ethiopia (M.Sc. thesis). Addis Ababa University. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  11. ^ "Deadly weed invaded Uganda". 2009-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-13. 
  12. ^ Oudhia, P., Tripathi, R. S., Choubey, N. K., & Lal, B. (2000). Parthenium hysterophorus: a curse for the bio-diversity of Chhattisgarh plains of MP. Crop Research (Hisar), 19(2), 221-224.
  13. ^ Dipankar De; Rashmi Jindal and Amrinder J Kanwar (2010). "Contact dermatitis to parthenium simulating lichen nitidus". Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 76 (3): 286–287. doi:10.4103/0378-6323.62978. 
  14. ^ Kher, Prateek (2008-09-25). "Transforming an obnoxious weed into gold!". Merinews. 
  15. ^ Parthenium
  16. ^ "Integrated weed management for parthenium". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2003-12-04.