Carrot Grass
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Carrot Grass
aturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Carrot Grass, Congress grass, Wild carrot weed • Hindi: गाजर घास gajar ghas, चटक चांदनी Chatak Chandani • Rajasthani: गाजर घास Gajar ghas, कांग्रेस घांस Congress ghans
Botanical name: Parthenium hysterophorus    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)

Carrot Grass is native to the subtropics of North and South America. It is a fast-maturing annual (or, under certain conditions, a short-lived perennial) with a deep tap root and an erect stem that becomes woody with age. It may eventually reach a height of 2 m. Its leaves are pale green, branched and covered with soft fine hairs. The small white flowers (4 mm across) have five distinct corners and grow on the stem tips. Each flower produces 4-5 black wedgeshaped seeds that are 2 mm long with thin white scales. It is considered a highly invasive weed. Its large and persistent soil seedbank, fast germination rate and ability to undergo dormancy make it well adapted to semi-arid environments. It also releases chemicals that inhibit the germination and growth of pasture grasses and other plants.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi.

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