Invasive potential of Crotalaria agatiflora in SA

Thabong Phango-University of Johannesburg

Canary bird bush (Crotalaria agatiflora) is native to the tropical East Africa with its distribution mainly occurring in Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

In South Africa this plant was introduced as an ornamental garden shrub, but because it invades natural vegetation (savannah biome, grasslands, watercourses and forest margins) in Gauteng, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal and some parts of the Eastern Cape Provinces.

It is proposed that it be listed as a category 1a invader under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA).

Soil seed bank shows that Crotalaria agatiflora is a slow but persistent invader.

Its seed coat dormancy and ability to resprout makes it very persistent. The preliminary scientific data obtained from this study show that C. agatiflora poses a significant threat to the flora of South Africa and that it should be controlled.

This study supports the listing of this species as a category 1a invader especially in Gauteng where the number of recorded populations are increasing greatly.

For more information please see the fact sheets below:

Canary bird bush (Crotalaria agatiflora)

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