Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheets

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file icon Opuntia strictahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 233
CACTUS FAMILY
Cactaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: Australian pest pear, common pest pear, erect prickly pear, sour prickly pear.
 
DESCRIPTION
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.
 
ORIGIN
Ecuador, Mexico, Southern USA, Venezuela, and the Caribbean.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Hedge/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, wastelands, disturbed areas, rocky outcrops, savannah, grassland and riverbanks in arid to semi-arid regions.
 
IMPACTS
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.
 
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
file icon Hedychium gardnerianumhot!Tooltip 10/08/2018 Hits: 232
GINGER FAMILY
Zingiberaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: kahili garland lily, kahili ginger, red ginger lily, wild ginger
Viet Nam: gung dai
 
DESCRIPTION
Robust, evergreen, with creeping underground stems or rhizomes [1–2 (–2.5) m high], branching surface rhizomes that can form dense mats up to 1 m thick.
Leaves: Bright green or greyish-green, glossy, upper surface hairless, lower surface sparsely hairy, narrow, tapering with pointed tips (20–45 cm long and 10–15 cm wide), margins entire; leaves held alternately on stem with a long base that sheaths the stem.
Flowers: Yellow in large clusters (15–45 cm long and 15–20 cm wide) at tips of stems; each flower has a slender red tube.
Fruits: Capsules (dry fruits that open at maturity), thin-walled (about 1.5 cm long) with three compartments.
 
ORIGIN
Bhutan, India and Nepal.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Medicine and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed areas, plantations, forests, forest edges/gaps, riverbanks and damp areas.
 
IMPACTS
Forms dense stands out-competing native species for light, space, nutrients and moisture, and its shade tolerance makes it able to thrive in forests. The thick rhizome mats also prevent the establishment of other species. Populations are now found on all islands in Hawaii (Smith, 1985). Its aggressive growth and shade tolerance means that it can form dense thickets in the understorey of open and closed-canopy Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud. (Myrtaceae) rainforests as well as in open habitats and forest edges around the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Anderson and Gardner, 1999). It threatens primary forest remnants in La Réunion and continuous expansion of large stands may endanger endemic lichens, vascular plants, molluscs and arthropods in the Azores. Infestations on Sao Miguel Island also threaten the Azores bullfinch. During rains, large infestations growing on steep slopes often become heavy with absorbed water and slip down slopes, contributing to erosion and gully formation.
 
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 8 October 2018
file icon Ruellia tuberosahot!Tooltip 10/23/2018 Hits: 231
ACANTHUS FAMILY
Acanthaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
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
 
DESCRIPTION
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.
 
ORIGIN
Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and the Caribbean.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Medicine and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, railway lines, disturbed land, drainage ditches and lowlands.
 
IMPACTS
Forms dense stands displacing native plants and the organisms associated with them.
 
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 Lantana camarahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 225
VERBENA FAMILY
Verbenaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
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
 
DESCRIPTION
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.
 
ORIGIN
Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Hedging/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, railways, disturbed land, wasteland, plantations, managed pasture, drainage ditches, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, grassland, savannah, water courses, lowlands and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
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.
 
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
file icon Mimosa diplotrichahot!Tooltip 10/22/2018 Hits: 225
PEA FAMILY
Fabaceae; subfamily: Mimosaceae
 
COMMON NAMES
English: creeping sensitive plant, nila grass, tropical blackberry
Cambodia: preah khlab damrei
Indonesia: jukut boring, putri malu, simeduri-dura
Lao PDR: nya nahm
Myanmar: tee-ka-yone-gyi
Philippines: aroma, hibi-hibi, kamit-kabag, makahiyang lalake
Thailand: maiyaraap luei
Viet Nam: trinh nu móc
 
DESCRIPTION
Annual, biennial (living for longer than one year but less than two) or evergreen, scrambling, climbing, strongly branched shrub, forming dense thickets [2–3 (–6) m tall], woody at the base with age; stems green or purplish tinged, 4–5-angled in cross-section, covered with sharp, recurved, yellowish spines (3–6 mm long).
Leaves: Bright-green, twice-divided (10–20 cm long), 4–9 pairs of leaflet branchlets each with 12–30 pairs of small elongated leaflets (6–12 mm long and 1.5 mm wide) with pointed tips, leaves fold together at night or when touched.
Flowers: Pinkish-violet or purplish, round heads (12 mm across), borne singly or in small groups on hairy stalks (3.5–16 mm long).
Fruits: Pods (several-seeded dry fruits that split open at maturity), green turning brown as they mature, flat, softly spiny on edges, elongated (8–35 mm long and 3–10 mm wide); occur in clusters which break into oneseeded joints; seeds are light brown (1.9 mm long and 2.7 mm wide).
 
ORIGIN
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
 
REASON FOR INTRODUCTION
Erosion control, nitrogen fixation, forage for bees, hedge/barrier and ornament.
 
INVADES
Roadsides, disturbed areas, wastelands, urban open space, crops, plantations, managed pasture, drainage ditches, woodland edges/gaps, forest edges/gaps, woodland edges/gaps, savannah, lowlands, wetlands and gullies.
 
IMPACTS
Smothers other plants and prevents their natural regeneration. Dense stands also prevent or inhibit the movement of livestock and wildlife. In Nigeria, when M. diplotricha density reached 630,000 plants per hectare, cassava root yield, 12 months after planting, was reduced by 80% (Alabi et al., 2001). It readily invades orchards and rice paddies reducing yields and increasing management costs (Waterhouse, 1993). On cattle ranches in Papua New Guinea, up to US$ 130,000 is spent annually on chemical control (Kuniata, 1994). In Thailand, 22 swamp buffaloes died 18–36 hours after eating M. diplotricha (Tungtrakanpoung and Rhienpanish, 1992). Trials in Queensland, Australia, indicated toxicity to sheep, and a report from Flores, Indonesia, suggests that it is toxic to pigs (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992).
 
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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