Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheets

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Order by : Name | Date | Hits | [ Descendent ]
file icon Lantana camarahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 316
English: curse of India, lantana, Spanish flag, tickberry, prickly lantana, white sage
Cambodia: phka chenh chien, phka kang, phka arch meann
Indonesia: kembang telek, tembelekan, tahi ayam
Lao PDR: dok mai khiu
Myanmar: sein-na-ban
Philippines: asin-asin, bahu-bahu, sapinit, sapor, sari-sari, sibsibit
Thailand: pagaknong
Viet Nam: bông oi, cây ngu sac
Compact, untidy long-lived shrub/scrambler (up to 2 m or higher), forming dense thickets; stems are usually green turning grey or brown with age, square in cross-section with short hairs and hooked/recurved prickles/thorns.
Leaves: Dark green, rough hairy, simple, egg-shaped (2–13 cm long and 1.5–7 cm wide) with pointed tips, margins toothed/rough, wrinkled appearance, held opposite each other on stems, smell strongly when crushed.
Flowers: Small red, pink, crimson, orange, yellow or white flowers borne in dense clusters (2–4 cm across), with each cluster containing about 20–40 flowers; clusters on stalks (2–10 cm long); individual flowers are
tubular (9–14 mm long and 4–10 mm across).
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), initially shiny green turning purplish-black when mature (5–8 mm across), one-seeded.
Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela.
Hedging/barrier and ornament.
Roadsides, railways, disturbed land, wasteland, plantations, managed pasture, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, grassland, savannah, water courses, lowlands and gullies.
Lantana forms dense impenetrable thickets reducing biodiversity and threatening the continued existence of a host of rare and endangered species. Turner and Downey (2010) identified 275 plant and 24 native animal species in Australia that are threatened by the presence of lantana. In crop production systems in Southeast Asia, it reduces yields and increases management costs for those growing durian, pineapple, banana and rubber (Waterhouse, 1993). It is also toxic to livestock with pastoral losses in Queensland in 1985, estimated to be A$ 7.7 million, as a result of 1,500 animal deaths, reductions in productivity, loss of pasture and control costs (van Oosterhout, 2004). In South Africa, lantana poisoning accounts for about 25% of all reported livestock poisoning by plants (Wells and Stirton, 1988). There have also been some recorded fatalities in people, after consumption of the green fruit. Lantana can also alter fire regimes, allowing fires to penetrate into forests and woodlands.
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 23 October 2018
file icon Bidens pilosahot!Tooltip 10/08/2018 Hits: 331
English: black jack, beggar’s tick, broom stick, cobbler’s pegs, Spanish needle
Indonesia: ajeran
Lao PDR: pak kwan cham
Myanmar: moat-so-ma-hlan, ta-se-urt
Philippines: borburtak, enwad, kaperek, nguwad, puriket, pisau-pisau, tubak-tubak
Thailand: puen nok sai
Viet Nam: xuyen chi
Annual or evergreen erect herb (up to 1 m tall), hairless stems, fourangled, purplish green in colour, simple or branched.
Leaves: Green, compound with 3–5 leaflets each; leaflets variable but usually egg-shaped with a broader and rounded base tapering towards the end to spear-shaped [3–7 (–10) cm long and 1–2 (–5) cm wide], margins with forward-pointing sharp projections or teeth, terminal leaflet always larger than lateral (side) ones.
Flowers: White petals, centre yellow (7–8 mm wide), usually borne singly on stalks (1 cm long).
Fruits: Achenes (small, dry, one-seeded fruits that don’t open at maturity), black, slender (1.5 mm long), ribbed, 2–4 barbed bristles or awns at terminal end.
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela and the Caribbean.
Accidentally as a contaminant.
Roadsides, railway lines, disturbed land, wastelands, fallow land, crops, plantations, managed pasture, gardens, drainage ditches, forest edges/ gaps, woodlands, riversides, lowlands, floodplains and gullies.
Under favourable conditions a single plant can produce 3,000–6,000 seeds per year, with 3–4 generations annually. This, together with its allelopathic properties, allows it to form dense stands rapidly, displacing
native vegetation. In Southeast Asia, this weed is problematic for those growing cabbage, pineapple, guava and plantation crops (Waterhouse, 1993). Densities of eight blackjack plants per square metre, in soybean
fields in Argentina, reduced yields by 43% (Arce et al., 1995). Dry bean harvests in Uganda and Peru were reduced by 48% and 18–48%, respectively, as a result of the presence of B. pilosa. B. pilosa is also a
host and vector to harmful parasites such as root knot nematodes and tomato spotted wilt virus (Mvere, 2004; DPI, 2008).
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 8 October 2018
file icon Leucaena leucocephalahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 331
Fabaceae; Sub-family: Mimosaceae
English: jumbie bean, lead tree, leucaena, wild tamarind
Cambodia: khtum tehs, krathum thet
Indonesia: petai cina
Lao PDR: kathin;kh’oonz, koong khaaw
Malaysia: lamtoro, petai belalang
Philippines: bayani, komkompitis, loyloy, palomaria
Thailand: kra thin, to-bao
Viet Nam: cây keo dau
Evergreen thornless shrub or small tree [2–10 (15) m high]; young stems green and densely covered in greyish-coloured hairs.
Bark: Smooth, greyish-brown with numerous small raised spots.
Leaves: Dark green, twice-divided [0.7–15 (–35) cm long] with small raised structure (gland) usually on leaf stalk, 3–10 pairs of leaf branchlets, each 2–10 cm long and each bearing 5–22 pairs of leaflets that are somewhat elongated, almost parallel sided or swordshaped (7–21 mm long and 1.5–5 mm wide).
Flowers: White or pale yellow in globular clusters (12–30 mm across), borne singly or in groups of 2–3 located at the juncture of the leaf and stem.
Fruits: Pods (several-seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning brown or reddish brown as they mature, elongated, almost straight (8–18 cm long and 2 cm wide), flattened but raised over the seeds, pointed tips; containing 10–25 hard seeds.
Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.
Fuelwood, fodder, tannins, nitrogen fixation, soil conservation, shade and ornament.
Roadsides, disturbed land, urban open space, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, riparian vegetation, lowlands and coastal shrub.
Forms large monocultures displacing native plant and animal species. In Hawaii, it is outcompeting open forest species (Cronk and Fuller, 1995), while on the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, it impacts endemic flora. The invasion of leucaena has had a severe effect on the native plant community in the Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, Japan, and may alter secondary succession, promoting the invasion and establishment of more aggressive alien plant species (Yoshida and Oka, 2004). In Guam, leucaena is preventing the establishment of indigenous species (B. Lawrence, pers. comm., in Walton, 2003). In Vanuatu, it can form dense monospecific thickets, threatening native plant species and is ‘very difficult to eradicate once established, rendering extensive areas unusable and inaccessible’ (Bakeo and Qarani, 2005). In the Erap Valley of Papua New Guinea, it forms monospecific stands in river valleys, replacing native riparian vegetation (G. Werren, pers. comm., in Walton, 2003).
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 23 October 2018
file icon Opuntia strictahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 332
English: Australian pest pear, common pest pear, erect prickly pear, sour prickly pear.
Succulent erect, spreading shrub [0.5–1.3 (–2) m high]; thicketforming; modified stems called cladodes are blue-green, longer than broad (10–20 cm long and 7.5–14 cm wide); 3–5 areoles (raised structures or bumps on the stems of cacti, out of which grow clusters of spines) per diagonal row on each cladode; 1–2 straight and flattened yellow spines (1.5–4 cm long) usually restricted to marginal areoles as opposed to O. stricta (Ahw.) Haw. var. dillenii (Ker Gawl.) Benson where there are 4–7 (–11) banded spines (1.5–4 cm long) on most areoles.
Leaves: Cylindrical, minute and shed early.
Flowers: Yellow and large (5–6 cm long and 5–6 cm wide).
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), green turning red-purple as they mature, egg-shaped (4–6 cm long and 2.5–3 cm wide), outer surface smooth with clusters of glochids (barbed hairs or bristles), narrowed at the base, purple sour pulp, white seeds.
Ecuador, Mexico, Southern USA, Venezuela, and the Caribbean.
Hedge/barrier and ornament.
Roadsides, wastelands, disturbed areas, rocky outcrops, savannah, grassland and riverbanks in arid to semi-arid regions.
Can form dense stands, preventing access to homes, water resources and pasture. On Madagascar, O. stricta has invaded land used for crop and pasture production, and has encroached on villages and roads, impeding human mobility (Larsson, 2004). Here, the cactus has had a negative impact on native grasses and herbs, and it is even affecting trees by inhibiting their growth and regeneration (Larsson, 2004). The small spines (known as glochids) on the fruit, when consumed by livestock, lodge in their gums, on their tongues, or in their gastrointestinal tracts, causing bacterial infections, while the hard seeds may cause rumen impaction, which can be fatal, and which often leads to excessive, enforced culling of affected animals (Ueckert et al., 1990). People who consume the fruits develop diarrhoea and may suffer from serious infections caused by the spines (Larsson, 2004). In Kenya, O. stricta infestations have resulted in the abandonment of farmlands.
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 23 October 2018
file icon Ruellia tuberosahot!Tooltip 10/23/2018 Hits: 332
English: bluebell, iron root, large bell-flower, minnieroot, popping pod, ruellia, sheep potato, spearpod
Cambodia: phka arch kok, phka smau, smau leach phtoush
Indonesia: pletekan
Viet Nam: cây Qua no
Biennial (lives for 1–2 years) herb, creeping or upright [60 (–70) cm tall], stems four-sided and hairy, swollen and purplish at the nodes with thick, elongated spindle-shaped tuberous roots. Leaves: Green, glossy, almost hairless, simple, oval to eggshaped [5–9 (–18) cm long and 2–4 (–9) cm wide], margins entire, leaf stalk is 5–7 mm long.
Flowers: Mauve to blue-violet, solitary, tubular (5–5.5 cm long and 3.5 cm across), showy.
Fruits: Capsule, hairless, elongated with almost parallel sides (2.2–3 cm long), containing 24–28 seeds.
Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and the Caribbean.
Medicine and ornament.
Roadsides, railway lines, disturbed land, drainage ditches and lowlands.
Forms dense stands displacing native plants and the organisms associated with them.
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 24 October 2018
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