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Science International Vol. 1 (6), 2013
Review Article
Parthenium hysterophorus L.: A Major Threat to Natural and Agro Eco-systems in India
I. Gnanavel
 
Abstract: Parthenium hysterophorus is an aggressive annual herbaceous plant native to the Tropical America. It is now widely distributed in a number of tropical and sub-tropical countries. The weed has achieved major weed status in India only within the last few decades. The weed is very common along with the road sides, around the agricultural fields and on waste lands. P. hysterophorus is considered as a noxious weed because of its prolific seed production and fast spreading ability, allelopathic effect on other plants, strong competitiveness with crops and health hazard to human as well as animals. The infestation of the weed causes yield losses up to 40% in several crops and reduces forage production by up to 90%. The rapid spread of parthenium in India would be a bigger risk to the expansion and sustainable production of many crops. Control of parthenium is therefore crucial to boost the productivity of agricultural crops in the country. It is reported that for better management of the weeds, knowing the habitat, morphology and biology of the weeds are also important. Hence an attempt has been made to review the habitats and adaptability, morphology and biology, allelopathic properties of P. hysterophorus and its impact on agriculture and human and animal health and management of the weed.
 
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