Pompom weed

Pompom weed

Eupatorium macrocephalum (=Campuloclinium macrocephalum) (Asteraceae)

Common Name:

Pompom weed

Scientific Name:

Eupatorium macrocephalum (=Campuloclinium macrocephalum) (Asteraceae)

Alternative common names:

Pompom bossie (Afrikaans)


The pompom weed is an erect perennial with green stems up to 1,3m high. It dies back annually to a root crown. Pink flowerheads surrounded by purple bracts in compact heads appear from December to March. This plant is native to Central and South America.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Central & South America (Mexico to Argentina)

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1; NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Grassland regions of Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape Provinces

How does it spread?

It spreads easily by seed, and it can also regenerate from underground rhizomes

Why is it a problem?

It causes serious degradation of the veld, lowering the biodiversity and reducing the grazing capacity by being unpalatable to large herbivores

What does it look like?

General description: A tall erect perennial herb with pink fluffy flowerheads and leaves concentrated on the base of the plant.
Bark: Green to purple covered with rough bristly hairs.
Leaves: Light green with serrated margins and lance-shaped, becoming small and more distant upwards.
Flowers: Pink and are produced in dense clusters at the end of aerial stems, flower-head consists of hundreds of tiny, star shaped florets surrounded by purple bracts. Flowers in late summer during December-March.
Fruit/Seeds: Brown, one-seeded achenes.

Does the plant have any uses?

Introduced for ornamental purposes but now a noxious weed

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