Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheets

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file icon Clidemia hirtahot!Tooltip 10/10/2018 Hits: 249
TIBOUCHINA FAMILY
Melastomataceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: Koster’s curse, soap bush
Indonesia: harendong bulu
Viet Nam: co saphony
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen shrub [0.5–3 (–5) m tall], branchlets rounded, covered with large reddish-brown hairs/bristles.
Leaves: Light green, upper surfaces with a few hairs, lower surfaces more densely hairy, simple, oval or egg-shaped (5–18 cm long and 3–8 cm wide) with pointed tips, 5–7 prominent veins from the base running almost parallel; margins finely toothed, leaves appear wrinkled or pleated, leaves held opposite each other on stem.
Flowers: White or sometimes pale pink, in clusters in the leaf forks or tips of branches, on a short flower stalk (0.5–1 mm long); base of flower is swollen into a cup-shaped structure.
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), dark blue, purplish or blackish, globular (4–9 mm across), covered in hairs/bristles; seeds are light brown (0.5–0.75 mm long).
 
ORIGIN
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the Caribbean.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Ornament
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed land, plantations, pasture, forests, forest edges/gaps, woodlands, woodland edges/gaps and riversides.
 
IMPACTS
This invasive plant has the ability to form dense stands displacing native plant species. Smith (1985) characterized the impacts of C.hirta as ‘devastating’ in Hawaii, where it threatens the extinction of endemic species. In Tanzania, it suppresses native herbs (Pocs, 1989), while in Fiji, it renders grazing land useless and retards the development of rubber and cocoa plantations. In Southeast Asia, it invades orchards and rubber and oil palm plantations where it reduces yields and increases management costs (Waterhouse, 1993). It came to be known as ‘Koster’s curse’ after being accidentally introduced to Fiji by Koster and its subsequent impacts
(curse) on plantation crops. It is also toxic to livestock (Francis, 2004).
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 11 October 2018
file icon Senna occidentalishot!Tooltip 10/23/2018 Hits: 248
PEA FAMILY
Fabaceae; subfamily: Caesalpiniaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: ant bush, arsenic bush, coffee senna, sicklepod, stinkweed.
 
DESCRIPTION
Annual or lives for more than one year but less that two, erect herb or shrub (0.5–2.5 m tall); stems reddish-purple, smooth, hairless or sparsely hairy, four-angled or grooved when young becoming greenish-brown and rounded.
Leaves: Green, once-divided (15–20 cm long), with 3–5 pairs of oppositely held egg-shaped or oval leaflets (3–10 cm long and 2–3 cm wide) with broad and rounded bases, tapering towards the end with pointed tips; conspicuous gland at the base of each leaf stalk; alternately held on stems on reddish stalks (3–5 cm long).
Flowers: Bright yellow (20–30 mm across) in small clusters of 2–6 flowers in forks of uppermost leaves.
Fruits: Pods (several-seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning brown as they mature, flattened, slightly curled (75–130 mm long and 8–10 mm wide), held upright.
 
ORIGIN
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Coffee substitute, medicine and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, wasteland, disturbed land, fallow land, managed pastures, drainage ditches, woodland edges/gaps, savannah, riparian vegetation and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Dense stands can displace native plant species, and reduce livestock carrying capacities in managed and natural pastures. Being allelopathic, it inhibits the germination and growth of other plants. Studies have shown that it has a negative impact on maize (Arora, 2013) and cotton yields (Higgins et al., 1986), and is an alternative host for crop diseases (Suteri et al., 1979). The seeds of S. occidentalis are highly toxic, containing compounds that damage the liver, the vascular system and the heart and lungs of domestic livestock, often leading to death in cattle (Barros et al., 1999), horses (Riet-Correa et al., 1998), goats (Suliman et al., 1982; Suliman and Shommein, 1986), pigs (Martins et al., 1986), poultry (Haraguchi et al., 1998), and rabbits (O’Hara and Pierce, 1974). Consumption of the seeds in western Uttar Pradesh, in India, resulted in the deaths of nine children within five days (Vashishtha et al., 2007).
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 24 October 2018
file icon Thunbergia grandiflorahot!Tooltip 10/04/2018 Hits: 245
ACANTHUS FAMILY
Acanthaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: Bengal trumpet vine, blue thunbergia, blue trumpet vine, Indian sky flower
Cambodia: voer thnort
Indonesia: keladi-keladian
Philippines: ag-agob, hagonoy, suga-suga, padawel, saromayag, kama-elaw
Viet Nam: dây bông xanh, bông báo
 
DESCRIPTION
A vigorous evergreen climber with rope-like stems (up to 15 m in height) with tuberous roots; young stems are green, hairy, square in cross-section, becoming brown and more rounded with age.
Leaves: Dark green, somewhat hairy, simple, variable in shape from triangular with broad heart-shaped bases to egg-shaped with broad end at base (8–22 cm long and 3–15 cm wide), margins entire to irregularly toothed or with irregular pointed lobes, held opposite each other on stems.
Flowers: Pale-blue, violet or mauve with pale yellow or whitish throat, trumpet-shaped (3–8 cm long and 6–8 cm across), on elongated clusters; each flower on a stalk (4.5 cm long).
Fruits: Capsule (dry fruit that opens at maturity) with a rounded base (18 mm long and 13 mm wide) and a long tapered beak (2–5 cm long and about 7 mm wide).
 
ORIGIN
Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar and Nepal.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Ornament
 
INVADES
Plantations, forest, forest edges/gaps, woodlands, woodland edges/ gaps and riparian vegetation.
 
IMPACTS
This climber completely smothers other established plant species and prevents the regeneration of native species in invaded areas (Starr et al., 2003b). T. grandiflora has a heavy and extensive tuberous root system which can lead to riverbank destabilization and damage fences and building foundations (Motooka et al., 2003). In Queensland, Australia, it is having a negative impact on threatened lowland tropical rainforest that have been fragmented by agricultural and urban development (Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2007). It also climbs on to power lines causing power outages.
 

Source:

Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 5 October 2018

file icon Cestrum aurantiacumhot!Tooltip 10/09/2018 Hits: 244
TOMATO FAMILY
Solanaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: orange cestrum, orange jessamine, yellow cestrum.
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen, much-branched, half-climbing shrub [1–2 (–6m) high], sparsely hairy stems and leaves; stems and leaves bruise easily, emitting an unpleasant smell.
Leaves: Light green, hairless, oval to egg-shaped (7–13 cm long and 2.5–7 cm wide), leaf stalk 1–4 cm long.
Flowers: Orange-yellow, tubular (17–21 mm long), 10–15 in axillary and terminal clusters.
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), white, spongy, round, small (10 mm across).
 
ORIGIN
Guatemala and probably elsewhere in Central America.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Hedge/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed land, plantations, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, woodlands, savannah, riversides and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Readily ‘climbs’ into trees and over shrubs, smothering native vegetation and impoverishing biodiversity. In Kenya, C. aurantiacum has invaded over 4,000 hectares of the Cherangany Forest displacing valuable forage species. It is toxic to people and to livestock and has caused numerous cattle deaths. Cattle that have consumed the plant become tetchy, before becoming paralysed and dying. The unripe berries are also fatal if consumed by sheep, and its leaves lead to non-fatal poisoning (Bizimana, 1994). According to the community in Cherangany Forest, the species has also had a negative impact on bee populations.
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 10 October 2018
 
file icon Miconia calvescenshot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 244
TIBOUCHINA FAMILY
Melastomataceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: bush currant, miconia, purple plague, velvet tree
Viet Nam: cây micona
 
DESCRIPTION
Evergreen shrub or small tree [4–8 (–16) m tall]; young stems are green, four-angled and covered in tiny star-shaped hairs; stems become brown and rounded with age.
Leaves: Dark green above and bright purple below, hairless, simple, oval with pointed tips [17–40 (–100) cm long and 7–25 cm wide], margins entire or finely toothed, three-veined from base to tip of leaf; leaf stalks are 2–6 cm long.
Flowers: White or pinkish, small, held in large clusters (20–50 cm long) at end of branches.
Fruits: Berries (fleshy fruits that don’t open at maturity), green turning bluish black or dark purple as they mature (about 6 mm across), containing 140–230 seeds.
 
ORIGIN
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Ornament and in contaminated soil.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed land, plantations, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, plantations, riverbanks and coastal areas.
 
IMPACTS
Areas invaded become totally transformed due to the creation of deep shade which few native species can tolerate (Meyer, 1994). This weed now covers over two-thirds of the island of Tahiti, forming dense monotypic stands, that have overwhelmed the native forests, where between 40 and 50 of the 107 species endemic to Tahiti are thought to be on the verge of extinction (Meyer and Florence, 1996). Between 70 and 100 native plant species, including 40–50 species endemic to French Polynesia, are estimated to be directly threatened by M. calvescens with significant knock-on impacts on endemic birds and other organisms (Meyer and Florence, 1996). The lack of ground cover under infestations also contributes to higher rates of soil erosion. Impacts have let to infestations being termed the ‘green cancer’ of Tahiti and the ‘purple plague’ of Hawaii.
 
Source:
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158961 on 23 October 2018
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