Priority: - Prevent
Tags: Agricultural | Medicinal | EDRR
Identification and Reproduction
- African rue is a herbaceous shrub that grows from a woody stem.
- Produces multiple shoots and will reach a height of 80 cm. If stems are crushed it will release a foul smell.
- Leaves are alternate on the stem, dark green, fleshly and deeply divided.
- Flowers are white, five-petaled with green sepals and yellow stamens. Blooms occur between March and October.
- Reproduces from seed. Seeds are often dispersed through water and animal transportation.
- Can also reproduce vegetatively from its woody stem.
Habitat & Ecology
- It often grows in dry areas.
- Can withstand high salinity levels.
- Commonly found on dry grasslands, roadsides, field edges and degraded pastures.
- African rue has not been found in Canada yet.
- Can be poisonous to people and livestock. Consumption can cause reduced fertility and abortions.
- Plants are also impalatable to livestock.
- It can contaminate agricultural seed crops.
- Its woody rooting system helps it quickly invade an area.
- It also germinates earlier in the growing season than native species.
- African rue has allelopathic chemical properties that reduce and suppress the growth of native vegetation.
Prevention is a high priority for this species.
- Be sure to maintain and diversify pastures.
- Buy and use clean, high-quality seed mixtures.
- Clean machinery, vehicles and tools when moving from site to site.
- Contact your local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) if you think you have seen this plant.
For more information check out the CFIA's factsheet on African rue- Peganum harmala.
Header photo (Yuriy75).