Declared weed parthenium detected in the Katherine Region

The declared weed parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorous) was recently detected in the Katherine region.

It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and environmental and economic impacts.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) weed management officers thanked the landholder involved for promptly reporting the detection.

Weed management officers are leading the control and eradication effort with assistance from the landholder.

DENR Katherine regional manager, Tahnee Hill, said: “The risk of spread from the infected area by livestock is considered low, as the area is not regularly accessed by large numbers of stock.”

Parthenium is a Class A (to be eradicated) and Class C (not to be introduced) weed in the Northern Territory, as well as being classified as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS).

Native to Central and South America, parthenium weed was first recorded in Australia in 1955.

“Parthenium weed has previously been detected in the Northern Territory and was eradicated on each occasion,” Ms Hill said.

The Parthenium weed is a major problem in rangelands and summer cropping areas of Queensland, where it has a serious impact on the pastoral industry.

It is also toxic to cattle, and meat from livestock that eat the weed can be tainted.

Some people suffer severe allergic reactions to the plant or its pollen and it can cause dermatitis, hay fever and asthma.

Anyone who thinks they have parthenium weed on their property, or thinks they have seen it, is urged to contact the DENR Weed Management Branch in Katherine on 8973 8857.

Last updated: 15 November 2018