• Galsiektebos,
  • Insukumbili,
  • Kruiehondebosie,
  • Mexican tea,
  • Sandworm plant,
  • Vlooibossie,
  • Wormseed goosefoot





Dysphania ambrosioides (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants


ambrosioides - leaves like those of the genus Ambrosia.


D. ambrosioides is an herbaceous plant, erect, branched up to 1.20 m in height, pyramidal. It is dotted with fine or short and almost glabrous leaves which have a large polymorphism. It has a strong penetrating odor. The stem is erect, branched from the base, especially when the plant is isolated. The stem grows only after a rosette of leaves.


Cotyledons are elliptic, green on the upper surface and reddish on the lower surface. They are dotted with white glandular dots. It has a strong and unpleasant smell.


First leaves are two opposite leaves, the following leaves alternate. Leaves are arranged in a rosette form, from 10 to 20.


Herbaceous plant with a strong odor. It can grow up from 40 to 100 cm high. It is green sometimes tinged with purple.


Branched roots.


The stem is cylindrical, solid, finely pubescent, hairs white vesicular. It is crossed by streaks of green and may have a purple pigmentation.


Leaves are simple, alternate and short petiolate. The leaves are oval to elliptical, acute at the apex, attenuated acute at the base. It is 2.5 to 14 cm long and 1.5 to 3.5 cm wide. The margin is usually winding gear in, but can also be irregularly toothed. The veins are prominent on the underside. The upper surface is smooth, bright green while the underside is lighter dotted with small sessile yellow glands, transparent, filled with a liquid whose smell is unpleasant.


Large Inflorescence, highly branched. They are grouped by 4 or 5 to form small clusters sessile, 0.5 to 1.5 mm in diameter. They gather in the ear along the terminal branches.


Flowers are greenish, 0.5 to 1.5 mm in diameter, in spikes The female flowers have 3-5 tepals, while the bisexual flowers possess 4-5. They are pubescent to glabrous, glandular, smooth or rarely keeled. Flowering from August to July.


Fruits are indehiscent utricle, lenticular. It has smooth pericarp surrounded by the tepals. It contain seeds.The fruits matures one month after flowering.


Seeds are lens-shaped, dark red-brown to blackish, 0.5 to 1.25 mm in diameter. It is shiny, almost smooth with a coat, marked by sinuous lines.


D. ambrosioides is an annual weed, rarely perennial short life. It reproduces by seeds.


It occurs in roadsides, dump site, crop fields. It is common in warm countries. This species has an important morphological polymorphism. It grows well on light soils, sandy soils in areas receiving good rainfall.


Native to South America.


Dstributed to the entire parts of South Africa.


Distributed to the entire part of KNP.


It is traditionally used to treat different ailments from cough, stomach ache, eczema and sandworm.


It is not a troublesome weed, low ecological impact. Very common weed in Mauritius and Namibia.


Widespread weed in South Africa.


It is an ivasive weed with moderate ecological impact.


It can be controlled by cultivation at seedling stage. Pre- and post- emergence herbicide is applicable as a control method for this weed.


-(AdventOI) Le Bourgeois, T., Carrara, A., Dodet, M., Dogley, W., Gaungoo, A., Grard, P., Ibrahim, Y., Jeuffrault, E., Lebreton, G., Poilecot, P., Prosperi, J., Randriamampianina, J.A., Andrianaivo A.P., and Théveny, F. (2008). Advent-OI: Principales adventices des îles du sud-ouest de l'Océan Indien. Cirad. Montpellier, France, Cirad.
-(Problem plants of South Africa) Bromilow, C. (2001), Published by Briza Publications CC.
-(A revised list of alien plants for the Kruger National Park.Koedoe) Foxcroft, L.C., Henderson, L., Nichols, G.R., Martin, B.W.


Vernacular Country Language Source
Wormseed goosefoot English Problem plant and alien weeds of South Africa.
Mexican tea English Problem plant and alien weeds of South Africa.
Sandworm plant English Problem plant and alien weeds of South Africa.
Galsiektebos Afrikaans Problem plants and alien weeds of South Africa
Kruiehondebosie South Africa Afrikaans Problem plants and alien weeds of South Africa
Vlooibossie South Africa Afrikaans Problem plants and alien weeds of South Africa
Insukumbili South Africa Xhosa Problem plants and alien weeds of South Africa