|DESCRIPTION: Diffuse, scrambling shrub up to 3-4 m in open situations and up to 8 meters in forests. Often forming dense thickets. Stems yellowish, smooth with opposite wide-spreading branches. USE: In recent decades it has become a serious pest in the humid tropics of South East Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands. It spreads rapidly in lands used for forestery, pasture and plantation crops such as rubber, coffee, coconut, cocoa and cashew. Positive aspects are that the plants create a lot of humus and raises pH on very acid soils. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Siam weed. FURTHER INF: It is native of tropical, central and south America from northern Argentina to the south eastern USA and the Caribbean. It is limited to warm and humid tropical regions, latitudes about 30°N and S, and an altitude of about 1000 m near the equator. It thrives in the regions with rainfall of 2000 mm and above per annum and temperature range of 20° to 37°C. It grows in many soil types but prefers well-drained soils. It does not tolerate shade and thrives well in open areas. Flourishes in disturbed habitats, particularly in areas of slash an burn agriculture.