Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)


Report on invasive plant species in the Cook Islands


Appendix 14. Invasive and potentially invasive species present on other southern Cook Islands but not on Mangaia

Scientific Name

Common Names

Present on:

Acacia farnesiana English: Ellington curse, klu, sweet acacia; French: acacia jaune, cassie; Other: titima (Cook Islands); vaivai vaka-vatona, vaivai vakavotona, ban baburi, oki (Fiji); aroma, popinac, kandaroma (Guam, CNMI); kolu (Hawai'i); te kaibakoa (Kiribati); debena (Nauru) Rarotonga, Aitutaki
Acacia glauca redwood Ma'uke

Acacia mearnsii

English: black wattle; French: acacia noir; Other: ākasia (Cook Islands) Rarotonga
Albizia lebbeck English: siris-tree, rain tree, East Indian walnut, kokko, woman's-tongue tree, soros-tree, raom tree ; French: bois noir; Other: ‘arapitia (Cook Islands (Miti‘aro)); trongkon-mames, tronkon mames, mamis (Guam); kalaskas, trongkon-kalaskas (CNMI–Chamorro); schepil kalaskas (CNMI–Carolinian); ukall ra ngebard (Palau); gumorningabchey; ngumorrningobchey (Yap); 'ohai (Hawai‘i); vaivai, vaivai ni vavalangi, vaivai ni vavalagi (Fiji); tamaligi pa’epa’e (Samoa); kasia (Tonga) Rarotonga, Miti'aro
Alpinia purpurata English: red ginger; Other: kōpī muramura (Cook Islands); thevunga (Fiji); ‘awapuhi ‘ula‘ula (Hawai‘i); teuila (Samoa); tevunga (Tonga) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma’uke
Annona glabra English: pond apple, alligator apple, bullock's heart, cherimoyer; French: annone des marais, corossolier des marais; Other: uto ni mbulumakau, uto ni bulumakau, kaitambo, kaitambu (Fiji) Rarotonga
Antigonon leptopus English: Mexican creeper, mountain rose, Confederate vine, chain-of-love, hearts on a chain, love-vine, coral bells, coral vine, queen’s jewels, kadena de amor, corallita; Other: dilngau (Palau); rohsapoak (Pohnpei) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu
Ardisia crenata English: hen's eyes, Hilo holly, coral berry, Australian holly, scratchthroat; French: arbre à noël Rarotonga
Arundo donax English: giant reed, Spanish reed, wild cane; French: canne de Provence, grand roseau; Other: ngasau ni vavalangi (Fiji); fiso palagi, fiso papalagi (Samoa); kaho folalahi (Tonga) Rarotonga
Asparagus densiflorus English: asparagus fern, sprengeri fern, smilax, regal fern Rarotonga

Axonopus compressus

English: blanket grass, carpetgrass; Other: kambutu ni vavalangi (Fiji) Rarotonga

Axonopus fissifolius

English: caratao grass, narrow-leaved carpetgrass Rarotonga

Azadirachta indica

English: neem, nim, margosa Rarotonga

Bauhinia purpurea

English: purple orchid tree; purple butterfly tree, pink butterfly tree (Fiji); French: fleurs pourpres Rarotonga?

Bauhinia variegata

English: orchid tree; mountain ebony, butterfly tree (Fiji); French: bois de boeuf, sabot boeuf, arbre de Saint-Thomas Rarotonga
Bothriochloa bladhii English: blue grass, Australian beardgrass, Caucasian bluestem; Other: desum (Palau); latoka grass, thamboni grass (Fiji) Aitutaki
Bryophyllum delagoense English: chandelier plant Rarotonga

Calliandra haematocephala

English: red powder puff; French: pompon Rarotonga

Calliandra surinamensis

English: Surinamese stickpea Rarotonga
Callisia fragrans English: fragrant inch plant, basketplant, spironema Aitutaki, 'Atiu

Calopogonium mucunoides

English: calopo; Other: akankan-guakag (Guam) Rarotonga, ‘Atiu, Ma'uke, Miti'aro

Calotropis gigantea

English: calotrope, crown flower, madar; French: mercure végétal, mudar; Other: pua-kalaunu (Hawai'i); tahinu (French Polynesia) Rarotonga

Cardiospermum grandiflorum

English: balloon vine; heart seed; Other: kopūpū takaviri? (Cook Islands) Rarotonga

Cardiospermum halicacabum

English: balloon vine, heart pea, love-in-a-puff; Other: wa niu, vo niu (Fiji); vinivinio (French Polynesia), poniu, haleakai‘a, ‘inalua, pohuehue uka (Hawai'i) Miti'aro
Carludovica palmata English: Panama hat plant; French: carludovique palmée; Spanish: chidra, palma de sombrero, palma jipijapa, toquilla; Other:  Panamā (Cook Islands) Rarotonga, 'Atiu
Cecropia obtusifolia English:  trumpet tree, guarumo; Other: rau-māniota (Cook Islands) Rarotonga
Cedrela odorata English: cigar box cedar, Mexican cedar, West Indian cedar, Spanish cedar, Barbados cedar; French: cèdre acajou, cèdre des barbares; Spanish: cedro cubano (Galapagos Is.); Other: sita hina (Tonga) Rarotonga, ‘Atiu
Ceiba pentandra English: kapok, kapok tree, silk-cotton tree, pacae; French: kapokier, capoc, bois coton; Spanish: ceibo; Other:  vavae (American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, Tonga); koton (Chuuk); vavai (Cook Islands and French Polynesia); vavai mama‘u, vavai maori (Cook Islands); mama‘u (Cook Islands (Mangaia, Aitutaki?)); vauvau ni vavalangi, semar (Fiji); algodon de Manila, atgodon di Manila, algidon, atgidon de Manila (Guam); kuhtin, cutin (Kosrae); koatoa, atagodon, bulik, kotin (Marshall Islands); kalngebard, kalngebárd, kerrekar ngebard (Palau); cottin, koatun, koatoa (Pohnpei); arughuschel (Saipan), batte ni gan' ken (Yap); vavau ni lokoloko (from Ecoport, source not given) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma'uke, Miti'aro
Chloris barbata English: swollen fingergrass, purpletop chloris (Australia), airport grass (Fiji); Other: mau’u lei (Hawai'i) Rarotonga

Cinnamomum camphora

English: camphor tree, camphor laurel; French: camphre, camphrier Rarotonga

Cinnamomum verum

English: cinnamon tree; French: cannelier de Ceylan; Other: ochod ra ngebard (Palau). tinamoni, tigamoni (American Samoa and Samoa) Rarotonga, Miti'aro
Clerodendrum chinense English: Honolulu rose, stickbush, glory bower; Other: losa Honolulu, losa Onolulu (American Samoa and Samoa); pītate māma‘o, tiare tupapaku? (Cook Islands); pikake hohono, pikake wauke (Hawai'i) Rarotonga
Clitoria ternatea English: butterfly pea, Asian pigeonwings; French: honte; Other: buikike, bukike, paokeke, bukike paokeke, capa de la reina, kapa de la raina (Guam); putitainubia (CNMI); pepe (Niue); latoela, nawa (Fiji), paipa (Tonga) Rarotonga
Cortaderia selloana English: pampas grass, silver pampas grass, Uruguayan pampas grass Rarotonga
Costus speciosus English: crepe ginger, crape ginger, wild ginger, Malay ginger, canereed; Other: isebsab (Palau) Rarotonga, 'Atiu
Cyperus involucratus English: umbrella sedge, umbrella plant, dwarf papyrus grass; Other: ‘ahu‘awa haole, pu‘uka‘a haole (Hawai‘i) Rarotonga, Aitutaki
Derris elliptica English: derris; Other: tuba, bagin (Guam); oop, op (Kosrae); dub (Palau); up (Chuuk, Pohnpei); peinuhp, uhp, upanai, upanyap, upkesetik (Pohnpei); yuub (Yap); nduva, duva ni vavalagi, nduva ni vavalangi (Fiji) Rarotonga
Digitaria violascens English: smooth crabgrass, violet crabgrass; Other: sau (Palau) Rarotonga
Dissotis rotundifolia English: dissotis, Spanish shawl, pink lady Rarotonga, Ma'uke
Duranta erecta English: duranta, golden dewdrop, pigeon-berry, sky-flower; Other: ‘olive (Tonga) Rarotonga

Egeria densa

English: egeria, leafy elodea, dense waterweed Rarotonga
Erigeron karvinskianus English: Mexican daisy, seaside daisy, daisy fleabane Rarotonga

Ficus benjamina

English: weeping fig, baka, Java fig, weeping fig ; Other: ‘ovava fisi (Tonga) Rarotonga
Ficus elastica English: India rubber tree, rubber plant; Other: rapa (Cook Islands); komunokí (Palau); rapah (Pohnpei); gak‘iynigoma (Yap) Rarotonga, 'Atiu
Ficus macrophylla English: Moreton Bay fig Rarotonga
Flacourtia rukam English: Indian plum, Indian prune, governor’s plum; French: prunier café, prunier de Chine, prunier malgache; Other: filimoto (Fiji, Futuna, Samoa and American Samoa, Tonga) Rarotonga
Flemingia strobilifera English: luck plant, wild hops; French: sainfoin du bengale; Other: besungelaiei (Palau) Rarotonga, 'Atiu
Gmelina arborea English: gmelina, white teak, white beech; Spanish: melina; Other: yemane (Fiji, Philippines) Rarotonga, ‘Atiu
Grevillea banksii English: kahili flower, Banks grevillea; Other: ha‘iku, kahili (Hawai‘i); ‘oka pua ‘ula‘ula (Hawai‘i (Ni‘ihau)) Rarotonga
Heliconia spp. English: heliconia, parrot's-flower, parrot's-plantain, crab claw, lobster claw; Other: tiare pārata‘ito (Cook Islands) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma'uke
Hylocereus undatus English: night-blooming cereus, strawberry pear, red pitaya, dragon fruit, pitahaya; French: pitaya, pitahaya rouge; Spanish: flor de Caliz; Other: paniniokapunahou, papipi pua (Hawai'i) Rarotonga
Ipomoea aquatica English: aquatic morning glory, swamp cabbage, water spinach, ung-choi, kang kong; French: liseron d'eau, patate aquatique; Other: aseri, seeri, seri (Chuuk); rukau taviri? (Cook Islands); ota karisa, ota karisi, wa kumala, ndrinikava, luve ne tombithi (Fiji), akankong, cancon, kangkun, kangkung, kankan (Guam); te kang kong (Kiribati); lorenzo (Nauru), kangum, kangkum (Palau); ‘umala vai (Samoa); kangkong (Ulithi, Yap); kangking, kongkong (Yap) Rarotonga
Jacaranda mimosifolia English: jacaranda Rarotonga
Jatropha curcas English: physic nut, purging nut, Barbados nut; French: médicinier, pignon d'Inde, purghère; Other: tuitui pakarangi, pakarani (Cook Islands); fiki (Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga); wiriwiri, wiriwiri ni vavalangi, uto ni vavalangi, banidakai, mbanindakai, manggele, maqele, ndrala (Fiji); tuba-tuba (Guam); kuku‘ihi (Hawai‘i), kuikui Pake (Hawai‘i (Ni‘ihau), laupata (Samoa) Rarotonga, ‘Atiu, Ma'uke
Justicia carnea English: pink plume-flower, pink jacobinia Rarotonga
Lablab purpureus English: hyacinth bean, lablab, bonavist, Egyptian kidney bean, dolichos; French: dolique, dolique d'Egypte, pois nourrice; Other: ndralawa, natomba, tomba (Fiji); cheribilla apaka, chuchumeko (Guam--Chamorro); papapa, pi (Hawai'i); pini lae puaka (Tonga) Rarotonga

Lantana camara

English: lantana; Other: latana (American Samoa and Samoa); tātarāmoa papa‘ā (Cook Islands); tātarāmoa (Cook Islands, French Polynesia); kauboica, kaumboitha, mbonambulumakau, mbona ra mbulumakau, tokalau, waiwai, lanitana (Fiji); tarataramoa, taratara hamoa (French Polynesia); latora moa (French Polynesia (Tahiti)); lakana, la‘au kalakala, lanakana (Ni‘ihau), mikinolia hihiu, mikinolia hohono, mikinolia kuku (Hawai‘i); ros fonacni (Kosrae); te kaibuaka, te kaibuaja (Kiribati); migiroa (Nauru), landana, rantana, rahndana, tukasuweth (Pohnpei); talatala, talatala talmoa (Tonga) Rarotonga, 'Atiu
Leptospermum scoparium English: New Zealand tea; manuka (New Zealand) Rarotonga
Licuala grandis English: ruffled fan palm; French: palmier-cuillère Rarotonga?
Macfadyena unguis-cati English: cat's-claw climber Rarotonga
Macroptilium atropurpureum English: siratro, purple bushbean Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma'uke, Miti‘aro
Melicoccus bijugatus English: Spanish lime Rarotonga, ‘Atiu

Merremia peltata

English: merremia; Other: fue vae (American Samoa), fue lautetele (American Samoa and Samoa); fidau, fitau, fitaw, fitay (Chuuk); kūrima (Cook Islands (‘Atiu)); wa mbula, wa bula, wa damu, wa ndamu, viliyawa, wiliviwa, veliyana, wiliao (Fiji); pohue (French Polynesia); lagon, lagoun, lagun (Guam); pala, pul, para, puhlah (Kosrae); fue, fue vao, fue kula (Niue); kebeas (Palau); ceul, lohl, iol, yol, yool (Pohnpei); abui, grobihi, arosumou (Solomon Islands); fue mea (Tonga); wachathal (Yap) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Miti'aro

Merremia tuberosa

English: wood rose, Spanish arborvine, yellow morning-glory; French: liane-à-tonelle, liane-jaune; Other: alarrak (Saipan); pilikai (Hawai‘i) Rarotonga

Mikania micrantha

English: mile-a-minute weed, Chinese creeper, American rope, bittervine; French: liane américaine, liane-serpent; Other: fue saina (American Samoa, Samoa and Niue); pōkutekute (Cook Islands (‘Atiu)); wa mbosuthu, wa mbosuvu, wa mbutako, wa ndamele, ovaova, wa bosucu, usuvanua (Fiji); fou laina (Niue), teb ‘l yas (Palau); kwalo koburu, (from Ecoport, no source given) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma'uke, Miti'aro

Mimosa diplotricha

English: giant sensitive plant, nila grass; French: grande sensitive, sensitive gèante; Other: pikika‘a papa‘ā (Cook Islands (Aitutaki)); vao fefe palagi (American Samoa and Samoa), wa ngandrongandro levu, wa ngandrongandro ni wa ngalelevu, co gadrogadro (Fiji); mechiuaiuu (Palau); limemeihr laud (Pohnpei); singbiguin sasa (Saipan); la'au fefe tele, la'au fefe palagi (Samoa); Aitutaki
Muntingia calabura English: jam tree, strawberry tree, Jamaican cherry, Singapore cherry, Panama cherry, Panama berry, ornamental cherry, calabura, sirsen; French: bois ramier; Other: venevene (Cook Islands (Penrhyn)); capulin (Fiji, French Polynesia); manzanilla, mansanita, manzanita (Guam, CNMI), budo (Palau, Yap) Rarotonga
Opuntia spp. English: prickly pear; Other: lengua de vaca (Guam) Rarotonga, Aitutaki
Paraserianthes lophantha English: brush wattle, plume albizia, plume acacia, stink bean Rarotonga
Paspalum dilatatum English: paspalum, dallis grass, water grass; French: paspalum dilaté, herbe sirop, herbe de miel, herbe de dallis, millet bâtard; Other: hiku nua (Niue) Rarotonga, Ma'uke, Miti'aro
Passiflora foetida English: love-in-a-mist, wild passion fruit, passionflower, stinking passionflower; French: passiflore; Spanish: bedoca (Galapagos Is.); Other: pasio vao (American Samoa and Samoa); bombom (Chuuk), sou, loliloli ni kalavo, qaranidila (Fiji); pohapoha (Hawai‘i); lani wai (Hawai‘i (Ni‘ihau)); tea biku (Kiribati); vine vao (Niue); kudamono (Palau); pompom, pwomwpwomw (Pohnpei); kinahulo‘ atdao, dulce (Saipan); vaine ‘initia (Tonga); tomates (Yap) Rarotonga

Passiflora laurifolia

English: yellow granadilla, belle apple, yellow water-lemon; French: pomme-liane, pomme d'or; Other: pasio vao (Samoa); vaine 'ae kuma (Tonga) Ma‘uke

Passiflora ligularis

English: sweet granadilla, yellow passionfruit; French: granadille, grenadille douce, barbadine; French: granadille, grenadille douce, barbadine; Other: lemi wai, lani wai, lemona (Hawai‘i) Ma'uke
Pennisetum setaceum English: fountain grass Rarotonga
Phyllostachys nigra English: black bamboo; French: bambou noir Rarotonga
Pistia stratiotes English: water lettuce, tropical duckweed; French: laitue d'eau, pistie; Other: lechuguita de agua, repollo de agua , apon-apon, apoe-apoe, beo-cai, chawk Rarotonga
Platycerium bifurcatum English: elkhorn fern, staghorn fern Rarotonga
Pueraria phaseoloides English: tropical kudzu, puero; Other: kūkū (Cook Islands (‘Aitu)) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma'uke

Pyrostegia venusta

English: flame vine, flame flower, golden shower, orange trumpet vine Rarotonga

Quisqualis indica

English: Rangoon creeper Rarotonga

Sanchezia parvibracteata

English: sanchezia Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu

Sanchezia speciosa

English: sanchezia. Rarotonga
Schefflera actinophylla English: octopus tree, umbrella tree, ivy palm; French: arbre-pieuvre, arbre ombelle Rarotonga
Senna alata English: candle bush; candelabra bush, Roman candle tree, emperor's candlesticks, ringworm bush (Australia), alcapulco; French: epis d’or, bois dartre, dartres; Other: fa‘i lafa, la‘au fai lafa (American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga); arakak (Chuuk); mbai ni thangi (Fiji); akapuku, andadose, candalaria, take-biha (Guam); mulamula (Niue); kerula besokel, yult (Palau); rakau honuki, truke-n-kili-n-wai, tuhkehn kilin wai, tirakahonuki (Pohnpei); bakau plant (Solomon Islands); te‘elango (Tonga); flay-n-sabouw (Yap) Rarotonga

Senna siamea

English: cassod tree, kassod tree, Siamese cassia, pheasantwood, Thailand shower; French: bois perdrix; Other: kasia (Tonga) ‘Atiu
Senna tora English: foetid cassia, stinking cassia, Java-bean, sickle senna, sicklepod, Chinese senna, peanut weed, sickle senna; French: cassier sauvage, pois puant, séné; Other: vao pinati (American Samoa and Samoa); kaumoce, kaumothe, pini, tarota (Fiji); mumutun admelon, mumutun palaoan, amot-tumaga carabao (Guam), te’epulu, tengafefeka (Tonga) Ma'uke
Setaria palmifolia English: palmgrass, short pitpit, hailans pitpit, broadleaved bristlegrass; Other: vao ‘ofe‘ofe (Samoa)
Solanum capsicoides English: cockroach berry, devil’s apple, soda apple; Other: poro‘iti taratara (Cook Islands); kikania kei, akaaka, akaka (Hawai'i) Rarotonga, 'Atiu, Ma'uke
Solanum mauritianum English: bugweed, wild tobacco, tree tobacco; Other: rau ‘ava‘ava (Cook Islands); pua nana honua (Hawai'i); pula (Tonga) Rarotonga, Aitutaki
Spathodea campanulata English: African tulip tree, fireball, fountain tree; French: tulipier du Gabon, pisse-pisse; Spanish: tulipan africano; Other: kō‘ī‘ī, mimi, pātītī vaipatiti vai, pititi vai (Cook Islands); mata kō‘ī‘ī ko‘i‘i (Cook Islands (Mangaia)); apär (CNMI); taga mimi (Fiji); orsachel kui (Palau); tuhke dulip (Pohnpei); fa‘apasi (Samoa); tiulipe (Tonga); rarningobchey (Yap) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, 'Atiu, Ma'uke
Sphagneticola trilobata English: wedelia, trailing daisy, Singapore daisy, creeping ox-eye; Other: ngesil ra ngebard (Palau); dihpw ongohng, tuhke ongohng (Pohnpei); rosrangrang (Kosrae); ut mõkadkad, ut telia (Marshall Islands); atiat (Puluwat); ate (Tonga) Rarotonga, 'Atiu
Sporobolus indicus English: smutgrass, wiregrass, Indian dropseed; Other: fisihina (Tonga) Rarotonga, Aitutaki
Stenotaphrum secundatum English: buffalo grass, St. Augustine grass; French: chiendent de boeuf; Spanish: pasto San Augustín; Other: ‘aki‘aki haole, mānienie ‘aki‘aki, mānienie ‘aki‘aki haole, mānienie māhikihiki (Hawai‘i) Rarotonga
Stylosanthes guianensis English: stylo, Brazilian lucerne, tropical lucerne, Nigerian stylo; Other: mauku puakatoro (Cook Islands (‘Atiu)) ‘Atiu, Ma'uke
Tabebuia heterophylla English: pink tecoma, pink trumpet tree, white cedar; Other: calice du pape Rarotonga

Thunbergia alata

English: black-eyed susan vine; French: suzanne aux yeux noirs Rarotonga

Thunbergia fragrans

English: Bengal trumpet, blue trumpet vine, clock vine, skyvine, large-flowerd thunbergia; Other: bung el etiu (Palau) Rarotonga

Thunbergia grandiflora

English: purple allamanda, laurel-leaved thunbergia, laurel clock vine Rarotonga

Thunbergia laurifolia

English: glorybush, lasiandra, princess flower Rarotonga
Triumfetta semitriloba English: Sacramento bur; Other: dadangsi, masiksik lahe (Guam) Rarotonga, Aitutaki

Urochloa mutica

English: California grass, para grass, buffalo grass, Mauritius grass, signal grass; French: herbe de Para; Other: mauku puakatoro (Cook Islands); puakatau (Tonga) (Swarbrick, 1997) Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Miti'aro

Urochloa subquadripara

English: brachiaria, green summer grass, tropical signalgrass, cori grass Ma'uke, Miti'aro

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This page revised 22 April 2006