Special Weed Problems

  • R. J. Stephens


Each kind of weed problem outlined in this chapter is capable of dominating the local economic and social life wherever it occurs. The recent rapid spread and explosive growth of aquatic weeds throughout the wet tropics has produced locally disastrous effects; in the temperate world the harm done by water plants is less dramatic but there has been increased weed growth in polluted water enriched with nutrients. Poisonous plants continue to take a heavy toll of livestock, and man himself may become ill or, less commonly today, actually die, when poisonous plants are eaten inadvertently. In addition, there are plants which although not lethal can in various ways have debilitating effects on man and his animals. Parasitic weeds, once a major concern of farmers in Northern Europe, have largely disappeared since seed cleaning and legislation have reduced the sowing of contaminated crop seed. However, in other areas root and stem parasites can occur on almost every major crop, posing severe local problems. Woody species have been taken by man to new areas, where they have sometimes escaped and now dominate the local vegetation; for example, the attractive shrubby Lantana (Lantana camara), which is a non-weedy native of tropical America, was planted by man in other tropical areas, where its vigorous growth, rapid increase and toxicity to livestock have made it a widespread nuisance.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ANON, (1968). 22 plants poisonous to livestock in the Western States, United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Information Bulletin 327, Washington D.C., p. 64Google Scholar
  2. ANON, (1971). Economic damage caused by aquatic weeds (preliminary survey), Office of Science and Technology, Agency for International Development, Washington, p. 13Google Scholar
  3. ANON, (1973). Proceedings of the European Weed Research Council Symposium on Parasitic Weeds, 1973, EWRC, Wageningen, p. 295Google Scholar
  4. ANON, (1976). Making aquatic weeds useful — some perspectives for developing countries, National Academy of Science, Washington D.C., p. 175Google Scholar
  5. DIXON, D. and KREPS, L. (1973). Dudaim melon — a direct threat to asparagus, Proceedings 25th Annual California Weed Control Conference, pp. 37–42Google Scholar
  6. FORSYTH, A. A. (1968). British poisonous plants, MAFF bulletin 161, HMSO, London, p. 131Google Scholar
  7. FRYER, J. D. and MAKEPEACE, R.J. (eds.) (1977). Weed Control Handbook, Vol. I, Principles, Blackwell, Oxford, p. 510Google Scholar
  8. GAUDET, J. J. (1979). Aquatic weeds in African man-made lakes, PANS, 25, 279–286Google Scholar
  9. HAWKINS, A. F. (1972). Control of algae, Outl. Agric, 7, 21–26.Google Scholar
  10. HAWKSWORTH, F. G. (1973). Dwarf mistletoes (Arceuthobium) of coniferous forests of the world, in Proceedings European Weed Research Council Symposium on Parasitic Weeds, 1973, EWRC, Wageningen, p. 295Google Scholar
  11. HOLM, L. (1977). Weeds and water in world food production, Weed Sci., 25, 338–342Google Scholar
  12. HOLM, L. and YEO, R. (1979). The biology and control of aquatic weeds, in Les Desherbage des Cultures sons les Tropiques (eds. J. Deuse and E. M. Lavabre), Maisonneuve et Larose, Paris, p. 312Google Scholar
  13. IVENS, G. W. (1960). Species of Acacias as weeds, in The Biology of Weeds (ed. J. L. Harper), Blackwell, Oxford, p. 256Google Scholar
  14. JAMES, Lynn F. (1978). Oxalate poisoning in livestock, in Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock (eds. R. F. Keeler, K. R. Van Kampen and Lynn F. James), Academic Press, New York, p. 600Google Scholar
  15. JOHNSON, A. W., ROSEBERRY, G. and PARKER, C. (1976). A novel approach to Striga and Orobanche control using synthetic stimulants, Weed Res., 16, 223–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. KASASIAN, L. and PARKER, C. (1971). The effects of numerous herbicides on the germination of Orobanche aegyptica and Striga hermontheca, PANS, 17, 471–481Google Scholar
  17. KEELER, R. F., VAN KAMPEN, K. R. and JAMES, L. F. (eds.) (1978). Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock, Academic Press, New York, p. 600Google Scholar
  18. KELLEY, A. and BRUNS, V. (1975). Dissemination of weed seeds by irrigation water, Weed Sci, 23, 486–493Google Scholar
  19. LEONARD, O. A. (1973). Translocation in and between mistletoes and their hosts and the significance of this in relation to weed control, in Symposium on Parasite Weeds, Malta, 1973, EWRC, Wageningen, 188–193Google Scholar
  20. LITTLE, E. C. S. (1960). The ecology of some New Zealand woody weeds, in The Biology of weeds (ed. J. L. Harper), Blackwell, Oxford, p. 256Google Scholar
  21. LUTMAN, P. J. W. (1977). Investigations into some aspects of the biology of potatoes as weeds, Weed Res., 17, 123–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. LUTMAN, P. J. W. and RICHARDSON, W. G. (1978). The activity of glyphosate and aminotriazole against volunteer potato plants and their daughter tubers, Weed Res., 18, 65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. MAFF, (1979). Guidelines For the Use of Herbicides on Weeds in or Near Watercourses and Lakes, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, booklet 2078, London, p. 55Google Scholar
  24. MITCHELL, D. S. (1972). The Kariba Weed: Salvinia molesta, Brit. Fern Gaz., 10, 25–252Google Scholar
  25. NEWBOLD, C. (1977). Aquatic herbicides: possible future developments, in Ecological Effects of Pesticides (ed. F. H. Perring and K. Mellanby) Academic Press, London, p. 192Google Scholar
  26. OGBORN, J. E. A. (1972). The control of Striga hermonthica in peasant farming, Proceedings 11th British Weed Control Conference, pp. 1068–1077Google Scholar
  27. PRESTON, A. P. (1977). Effects of mistletoe (Viscum album) on young apple trees, Hort. Res., 17, 33–38Google Scholar
  28. ROBSON, T. O. and BARRETT, P. R. F. (1977). Review of effects of aquatic herbicides, in Ecological Effects of Pesticides (ed. F. H. Perring and K. Mellanby), Academic Press, London, p. 193Google Scholar
  29. TAYLOR, J. A. (1980). Bracken: an increasing problem and a threat to health, Outl. Agric., 10, 298–304Google Scholar
  30. THOMAS, K. J. (1979). The extent of Salvinia infestation in Kerala (S. India): its impact and suggested methods of control, Environmental Conservation, 6, 63–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. TIMMER, C. E. and WELDON, L. W. (1967). Evapotranspiration and pollution of water by Water Hyacinth, Hyacinth Control Journal, 6, 34–37Google Scholar
  32. WEERARATNA, W. G. (1960). The ecology and biology of parasitism of the Loranthaceae of Ceylon, in The Biology of Weeds (ed. J. L. Harper), Blackwells, Oxford, p. 256Google Scholar
  33. WHITNEY, P. J. (1973). Transport across the region of fusion between bean (Vicia faba) and broomrape (Orobanche crenata), in Proceedings European Weed Research Council Symposium on Parasitic Weeds, 1973, EWRC, Wageningen, p. 295Google Scholar
  34. WOLVERTON, W. and McDONALD, R. C. (1976). Don’t waste waterweeds, New Scientist, 71 (1013), 318–320Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. HOLM, L, PLUCKNETT, D. L., PANCHO, J. V. and HERBERGER, J. P. (1977). The World’s Worst Weeds, University Press of Hawaii, Honolulu, p. 609Google Scholar
  2. KASASIAN, L. (1971). Weed Control in the Tropics, Leonard Hill, London, p. 307Google Scholar
  3. KING, L. I. (1966). Weeds of the World: Biology and Control, Leonard Hill, London, p. 526Google Scholar
  4. KINGHORN, A. D. (ed.) (1979). Toxic Plants, Columbia University Press, New York, p. 195Google Scholar
  5. MUSSELMAN, L. J. (1980). The Biology of Striga, Orobanche, and other root-parasite weeds, Ann. Rev. Phytopathol., 18, 463–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. RUSSELL, G. E. (1978). Resistance to parasitic weeds, in Plant Breeding for Pest and Disease Resistance (ed. G. E. Russell), Butterworths, London, p. 485Google Scholar
  7. SCULTHORPE, C. D. (1967). The Biology of Aquatic Vascular Plants, Edward Arnold, London, p. 610Google Scholar

Copyright information

© R. J. Stephens 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Stephens
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BathUK

Personalised recommendations