Do not grow this ‘lovely flower’ in your garden

Thulani Nkosi hard at work removing the invasive pompom in Roodeplaat Nature Reserve.

Since the beginning of the year, the team has been focusing on removing the weed in Roodeplaat Nature Reserve in northeast Pretoria.

Teams of Working on Fire are hard at work removing the alien invasive plant popularly known as pompom (Campuloclinium macrocephalum), Kempton Express reports.

The plant is highly visible in especially grass and wetlands in Gauteng.

READ MORE: Invasive hyacinth chokes Botanic Gardens lake

The plant causes extinction of indigenous plants, and fuels fires during the fire season.

Thulani Nkosi, a fire fighter base at Roodeplaat, is one of the participants that are trained to identify and remove alien invasive plants.

“Since the beginning of the year, our team has been focusing on removing the pompom in the Roodeplaat Nature Reserve. My work is to apply herbicide after my colleagues have cut off the flowers of the pompom,” said Nkosi.

“We are guided by Biodiversity officers of Roodeplaat Nature Reserve on the methods of removing the alien plant,’’ he said.

“We are advised that people are not allowed to plant it in their yards or on farms, even if it looks like a nice flower.”

Working on Fire’s general manager in Gauteng Stephen Boyes confirmed a commitment of the province on biodiversity management through removing invasive alien plants.

‘’Our firefighters are instrumental in protecting the environment,’’ he said.

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