Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Alien Invasive Plant Awareness Campaign

Municipal Plant of the Month – Plant: False agave or Mauritian Hemp : (Furcraea foetida)
Description: An evergreen perennial subshrub that is stemless or with a short stem up to 1m high. It has been widely cultivated as a succulent garden ornamental. The leaves are sword-shaped, 1-1.8m long and 10-15cm broad at their widest point, narrowing to 6-7cm broad at the leaf base, and to a sharp spine tip at the apex. The flowers are greenish to creamy white, 4 cm long and strongly scented. They are produced on a large inflorescence up to 12m tall.

Invasive status: Listed as a NEMBA Category 1a invasive weed and known to invade coastal sites, cliffs, gullies, hillsides, and open woodlands where it crowds out indigenous species.

Spread: It produces a massive, upright, much-branched flower cluster, which is 2-12m tall. What might appear to be fruit is large plantlets (i.e., bulbils), 1-16cm long, formed by the thousands. Gravity is the main natural means of dispersal, and dense thickets often form around individual plants. These plantlets may also be spread over larger distances by animals, in soil or in dumped garden waste.

Control: Plants must be cut down and the stumps treated with a suitable herbicide such as Amazapyr. Uproot young plants, especially in hedgerows. Regular follow-up is essential.

References: :