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Parthenium Weed moves south

May 11, 2020

Hilltops Council urges local landholders to be vigilant as Parthenium Weed (Parthenium hysterophorus) has been found in eight regions of NSW and as nearby as Forbes. These sites have been related to livestock feeding areas during the drought and transported machinery from interstate.

Parthenium Weed grows quickly. It outcompetes other plants by competing for nutrients and moisture and releases chemicals into the soil that inhibit growth.

Parthenium Weed:

  • Causes human health problems
  • Is unpalatable to stock
  • Outcompetes degraded or drought affected pastures
  • Reduces carrying capacity
  • Causes livestock health problems
  • Competes with crop seedlings including sunflowers and sorghum
  • Reduces crop yields
  • Contaminates grain
  • Is a host for crop viruses.

Parthenium Weed can cause respiratory problems and severe dermatitis.

Landholders are advised not to touch the plant with bare hands and to use a dust mask if working near the weed. People might not have an allergic reaction the first time they touch a plant. Allergies can develop after a few exposures. Once a reaction to Parthenium Weed develops, some people go on to develop allergies to related plants such as sunflowers. This reaction can be so severe that people with the allergy may need to move away from Parthenium Weed infested areas.

Parthenium Weed spreads via seeds and germinates readily. Buried seeds can remain dormant for many years. Produces up to 15,000 seeds per plant.

If sited please do not touch or remove the weed and contact Hilltops Council Bio-security officers as soon as possible on 1300 445 586.