No specific conservation measures are currently known to be in place for this species in its native South American range. In the United Kingdom, parrot’s feather is listed under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act with respect to England, Wales and Scotland, making it an offence to plant or otherwise allow this species to grow in the wild (3) (6). In Washington, U.S., it is illegal to purchase, trade or sell parrot’s feather (4). An invasive species action plan in place for this plant in Ireland aims to prevent its further spread and sets out actions required to control it (7).
Once established in an area, parrot’s feather can be difficult to eliminate completely (4) (6). A thick, waxy layer on its stems and leaves makes it difficult for herbicides to enter the plant, and mechanical cutting can create stem fragments which may regenerate (4) (7) (8). A combination of more than one control method is usually needed over several years (6).
Parrot’s feather contains high levels of bitter tannins, meaning that most animals find it unpalatable and do not graze on it (4) (6) (8). However, biological control of this species may be possible using certain insects from its native range (4) (5) (8) (10). Covering up patches of parrot’s feather to shade it for several weeks may also be one way of restricting its growth (5) (7).
Recommended measures to prevent the further spread of parrot’s feather include locating all existing introduced populations, identifying and monitoring areas most vulnerable to new invasions, restricting sale of this species, and raising public awareness of the problems it can cause (6) (7).