Pompom weed (Campuloclinium macrocephalum (Less.) DC.) is an ornamental South American herb belonging to the daisy family, Asteraceae. It is rapidly becoming the most serious threat to the conservation of grasslands in South Africa. Infestations become conspicuous when the plants are in flower between December and March, transforming the veld from green to pink. The plant initially establishes itself in disturbed sites such as roadsides, but then invades natural grasslands, open savanna and wetlands. This weed displaces native species, reducing both the biological diversity and carrying capacity of vleis and veld.
The Agricultural Research Council, through its Plant Protection Research Institute, carries out most of the research on pompom weed. Several tertiary institutions, including the universities of Pretoria and the Witwatersrand and the Tshwane University of Technology, are also undertaking related research projects.
The main funding organizations are the Working for Water Programme; the National Department of Agriculture; the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Lands; and the KZN Department of Agriculture and Environment Affairs - Invasive Alien Species Programme.
Origin and distribution
Growth conditions and "weedy" nature
Legislation and law enforcement
Management and control
Reporting new sightings