Campuloclinium macrocephalum (Pompom weed)

Campuloclinium macrocephalum (Pompom weed)


Pompom weed is an ornamental perennial herb, native to South and Central America and Mexico, that has become a serious invasive weed in South Africa. Field surveys conducted in Argentina revealed the presence of potential biocontrol agents.


Two insect species and one pathogen species seem to have the most potential as biocontrol agents, based on their impact, distribution or field host-range attributes: Liothrips tractabilis Mound & Pereyra (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), and Cochylis campuloclinium Brown (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). The thrips was approved for release in South Africa in June 2013. An application for permission to release C. campuloclinium was recently prepared and submitted to the South African authorities (Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). Other promising biocontrol agents include the stem miners, Carmenta sp. (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) and a pintail beetle (Coleoptera: Mordellidae).

Fernando Mc Kay.

Liame van der Westhuizen (Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute, South Africa).