Striking yet destructive. Pompom weed (Campuloclinium macrocephalum) is native to South America and has become a major alien invader in the Hartbeespoort area and the rest of South Africa.
Pompom weed displaces native species which reduces biodiversity and decreases grazing availability for animals. The distinctive pink, thistle-like flowers of pompom weed appear between December and March. Pompom weed is found across the eastern half of South Africa, most common in Gauteng but also occurs in the Limpopo, North–West, Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
Wits University is now compiling data on where pompom is invading areas. Citizens is requested to help them collect GPS information so they can map this alien invader and gain a better understanding of its spread across South Africa.
If you see pompom, take a close-up photo as well as a photo of the whole stand of pompom and send it with GPS coordinates to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively upload the information to its iNAturalist project on http://bit.ly/3mm7WwB. Visit www.inaturalist.org/projects/invasive-pompom-weed-in-south-africa for more information.