Effect of foliar herbicides on the germination and viability of Siam weed (Chromolaena odorata) seeds located on plants at the time of application

K.A. Patane, S. Setter and M. Graham, Centre for Wet Tropics Agriculture, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, PO Box 20, South Johnstone, Queensland 4859, Australia.


his paper reports a field study undertaken to determine if the foliar application of herbicides fluroxypyr (150 mL 100 L-1 a.i.) and metsulfuron-methyl (12 g 100 L-1 a.i.) were capable of reducing the germination and viability of Chromolaena odorata (L.) R.M.King & H.Rob. (Siam weed) seeds at three different stages of maturity. After foliar application of fluroxypyr germination of mature seeds was reduced by 88% and intermediate and immature seeds were reduced by 100%, compared to the control. Fluroxypyr also reduced the viability of mature, intermediate and immature seeds by 79, 89 and 67% respectively, compared to the control. Metsulfuron-methyl reduced germination of intermediate and immature seeds by 53 and 99% respectively compared to the control. Viability was also reduced by 74 and 96% respectively, compared to the control. Mature seeds were not affected by metsulfuron-methyl as germination and viability increased by 2% and 1% respectively, as compared to the control. These results show that these herbicides are capable of reducing the amount of viable seed entering the seed bank. However depending on the treatment and stage of seed development a percentage of seeds on the plants will remain viable and contribute to the seed bank.

This information is of value to Siam weed eradication teams as plants are most easily located and subsequently treated at the time of flowering. Knowledge of the impact of control methods on seeds at various stages of development will help determine the most suitable chemical control option for a given situation.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2009) 24 (4) 138-140.