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Friday, June 25, 2010

A new crop of Parthenium starts growing up with the first shower of rain in Jharkhand

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Parthenium starts growing as soon as the first shower of rain falls on the earth. Parthenium weed's botanical name is Parthenium Hystrophorous. It is a herbaceous plant, and a native of Tropical America. It is an annual herb and has a deep taproot and erect stem, which becomes woody with age. Parthenium weed leaves are deeply lobed. It is pale green in colour and has soft hair. Parthenium weed flower is creamy white in color. The weed has a large number of stems. It has small (1-2mm long) black seeds with white scales. They are not visible to the naked eye. The word Parthenium is derived from the Latin word 'parthenice', suggesting medicinal uses. The origin of this obnoxious weed is traced to the Caribbean but its adverse effects are felt largely in African, Australian and Asian countri. The weed was first sighted in Pune in 1956. It had travelled from the USA with wheat seeds and gradually spread to every corner of the country.  Parthenium entered India with imported foodgrains in the mid-1950s.One of the world’s seven most devastating and hazardous weeds, parthenium invaded 14.25 million hectares of farm land during 2001-07, compared to 2 million hectares in 1991-2000. Parthenium has invaded 35 million hectares across the country including crop land, wasteland and forest areas. Initially, the deadly weed occupied largely non-crop areas like wasteland, open forests and roadsides. Now it has now spread to cropping land at an alarming rate.”


Parthenium sp. with its wild associates


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