Molecular evidence that fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis, Asteraceae) is of South African origin
- Cite this article as:
- Scott, L.J., Congdon, B.C. & Playford, J. Pl Syst Evol (1998) 213: 251. doi:10.1007/BF00985204
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ITS1 sequence data was obtained for fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) andS. lautus from Australia,S. madagascariensis andS. inaequidens from South Africa andS. madagascariensis from Madagascar. Despite the low level of variation (0.0–3.4%), these data further resolve the controversy concerning the identity and origin of fireweed. They confirm that fireweed is part of the South AfricanS. madagascariensis/S. inaequidens complex, and indicate that the infestation in Australia originated from South Africa as opposed to Madagascar. This will facilitate a resumption of biological control efforts in Australia and will direct surveys for control agents to South Africa.