Just a week ago one of the national newspaper of Nepal published about this plant. It attracted my attention. The title read “Badmash Number 1 Jhar”. This means the worst weed among all. The newspaper portrayed the plant in such a way that it created terror of Parthenium Hysterophorus. I saw the picture and realized that a huge amount of this plant was growing in my area. So I did some research about it and found a few interesting things.
Parthenium Hysterophorus is also called Safed Topi “White Top” in India and Santa Maria in other parts of the world. Its various parts contain heavily toxic substances such as Sesquiterpene Lactones, Hysteria. Other chemicals include Ambrosin, 3,7-dimethyl ether, 6-Hydroxyl Kaempferol 3-0 Arabinoglucoside, and Vanillic acid, etc. It is an invasive plant which can cover a large area very soon.
This is an obnoxious weed that is very harmful and even lethal in some cases. This has become threatening and an important issue. It is not a local plant so it is clear that it came from somewhere. This plant came to Nepal and India from Mexico. And since its arrival, this plant has been terrorizing Nepali land. Many activists and journalists have been posting and informing people about the plant.
Effect on Biodiversity
It has disturbed the whole grassland ecosystem of our country. Invasive plants are very dangerous to local life. They can damage the local plants, animals, and the ecosystem. The government should also take majors to control the spread. It needs controlling and ensuring that this plant doesn’t evade the agricultural land and destroy the crops.
We advise everyone to be careful around this plant. It isn’t highly toxic plant but it is hazardous. Its pollen can be damaging for people with allergies. People with delicate and sensitive skin can get allergies. This plant has already made to top 20 of most dangerous plants in the world. In order to control the spreading, we can pluck them out and burn them. Plucking and leaving to dry can further increase their numbers.