What's in a weed's name?
MetadataShow full item record
CTA. 1998. What's in a weed's name?. Spore 75. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48107
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore75.pdf
Joël J. Loumeto, of the Botany and Ecology Laboratory at the Science Faculty in Brazzaville, Congo, writes about the number of names given to Chromolaena odorata (Spore 72, p. 4). 'The fact that there are so many underlines the importance of the...
Joël J. Loumeto, of the Botany and Ecology Laboratory at the Science Faculty in Brazzaville, Congo, writes about the number of names given to Chromolaena odorata (Spore 72, p. 4). 'The fact that there are so many underlines the importance of the weed, its distribution, and the forceful way it establishes its presence. [...] In Benin, for example, the name 'Sekou Touré ma' (the Sekou Touré leaf) refers to the similarities between the introduction of the plant, and the official visit of President Sekou Touré to the country. In Togo, 'Acheampong' was the name of the President of Ghana at the time the plant is thought to have arrived, supposedly from that neighbouring country. In the Central African Republic and Congo, the nicknames 'Bokassa' and 'Lantana di(a) Ngouabi' refer to the ruling and incoming presidents respectively at the time. The name 'Rawlings' in some West African countries symbolises the force of the Chromolaena by recalling the repeated seizures of power by Jerry Rawlings in Ghana. In Côte d'Ivoire, the plant goes under the name of the 'Independence Plant', because it arrival coincided with the country's independence in 1960.' Mr Loumeto reminds us that Chromolaena has beneficial effects too. It helps in controlling another serious weed, Imperata cylindrica, as well as improving soil fertility and reducing the fallow period for a piece of land. It also has nematicidal and medicinal properties, and is especially efficacious in healing wound cuts.