Chromolaena odorata

Scientific nameChromolaena odorata
English: chromolaena, devil weed, paraffin bush, Siam weed, triffid weed, turpentine weed
Cambodia: tuntrien khaet
Indonesia: kerinyu, tekelan
Lao PDR: nya khi law
Myanmar: kone-be-da, ne-da-ban, zama-ni
Philippines: dalayday, gonoy, hagonoy, talpus-palad
Thailand: saap suea
Viet Nam: co lào
Evergreen shrub, which may take the form of a scrambler when growing among trees (3–7 m high), often forming dense thickets; stems yellowish-green and somewhat hairy, woody towards the base with wide-spreading branches; deep taproot.
Leaves: Light green, hairy, simple, triangular (5–12 cm long and 3–7 cm wide), pointed, margins toothed, three conspicuous veins from the base; leaves held opposite each other on stem, smell strongly of turpentine when crushed.
Flowers: Mauve, in cylindrical heads (about 10 mm long and 3 mm wide) clustered at the ends of stems.
Fruits: Achene (small, dry, one-seeded fruit that doesn’t open at maturity), straw-coloured, bristly (4–5 mm long).
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, USA, Venezuela and the Caribbean.
Roadsides, disturbed land, wastelands, urban open space, fallow land, plantation crops, managed pastures, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, savannah, natural pasture, riparian vegetation, lowlands 
and floodplains.
One mature plant can produce approximately one million seeds per year. Its ability to form dense impenetrable thickets leads to the displacement of native plant species and the dry stems and leaves, which are rich in oils, also increase fire intensities (McFadyen, 2004) contributing to additional biodiversity loss. In South Africa, infestations have a negative impact on the breeding biology of the Nile crocodile (Leslie and Spotila, 2001), while in Cameroon, it displaces native species in the family Zingiberaceae, a major food source for the endangered western lowland gorilla (van der Hoeven and Prins, 2007). In Southeast Asia, it is also a serious weed of oil palm, rubber, coffee, cashew, fruit and forestry (Waterhouse, 1993). In fact ‘some agricultural areas in Southeast Asia have been abandoned because Siam weed has taken over pasture and crops’ (CRC for Weed Management, 2003). It also causes serious health problems in livestock and people (Soerohaldoko, 1971; Sajise et al., 1974) and significantly reduces livestock-carrying capacities.
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 10 October 2018
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Last updated on 02/13/2019 21:02