Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Acokanthera schimperi
(A.DC.) Schweinf., Apocynaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 6 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Acokanthera ouabaio Cathel. ex L. Lewin; Carissa schimperi A. DC.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: arrow-poison-tree, common-poisonbush

Habit:  shrub/tree

Description:  "Shrub or tree 1-10 m high, branching from the base; bark rough grey-brown; slash cream with fine orange streaks; young branches glabrous or pubescent, conspicuously angled and ribbed. Leaves petiolate, petiole 3-6 mm long; blade ovate, obovate, elliptic to suborbicular, 1-8 (-10) cm long, 1.1-6.5 cm wide, rounded or acute at the apex, with a hard mucro, sometimes emarginate, cuneate or rounded at the base, coriaceous, glabrous; secondary veins obscure, especially beneath. Inflorescence contracted, of many-flowered axillary cymes; sepals ovate, 1-2 mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide, pubescent or glabrous, ciliate. Corolla tube pink or reddish, 8-11 mm long, glabrous or pubescent on external surface, inner surface pilose in the upper half and wrinkled below; lobes pink outside, white inside, ovate, 2.5-3.5 mm long, 1.5-2.5 mm wide, acuminate at the apex, pubescent at the base inside,glabrous or pubescent outside, ciliate; stamens slightly exserted, inserted at 7-10 mm from the base; anthers ovate, 1-1.5 mm long, acumen 0.2 mm long; pistil 7.5-10 mm long. Fruit purple when ripe, ellipsoid, 10-25 mm long; seeds up to 13 mm long"  (Flora of Tropical East Africa on JSTOR Plant Science).

var. rotundata Codd:  "Shrub or small much-branched tree up to 5 m. high and 5 m. in diameter, with rough bark. Young branches pubescent or less often glabrous, conspicuously angled and ribbed. Leaves very coriaceous, often drying somewhat concave, slightly to strongly papillose-scabrid, especially above; petiole 3-7 mm. long, pubescent on upper surface; lamina 38-7 x 25-48 cm., broadly elliptic to subcircular, the apex obtuse with blunt or sharp mucro, the base rounded; upper surface glossy, with midrib level and lateral veins faintly raised or impressed, glabrous except for a line of hairs sometimes continuing from the petiole along the midrib; lower surface mat, midrib raised, laterals faintly so; lateral veins looped to join their neighbors. Inflorescences dense contracted many-flowered axillary cymes; flowers sweet-smelling, with pink or red corolla tube and white lobes. Calyx 2-25 mm. long, lobes ovate-acute with often slightly recurved tip, strongly imbricate, dorsally pubescent and ciliate. Corolla tube 9-12 mm. long, glabrous to minutely pubescent on external surface, long-pilose above and wrinkled below, on inner surface; corolla lobes subcircular with apex rounded or cuspidate, 3-55 mm. long, ciliate or not, pubescent or glabrous. Stamens inserted at the top of the corolla tube so that the anther tips are just visible at anthesis; anthers 1-13 mm. long. Ovary 06-07 mm. long, conical. Ripe fruit up to 2 cm. in diameter, subglobose, red to purple, 1-2-seeded. Seeds up to 1 cm. long" (Flora Zambesiaca online [Note: this site seems to be temporarily down as of 27 Aug 2017, but hopefully it will be fixed eventually; if you find that it IS fixed, please let us know; for questions about that site, contact the KRBG/FZ site manager].).

Habitat/ecology:  "250-2200 m"  (Flora of Tropical East Africa on JSTOR Plant Science); var. rotundata  Codd:  "on cliffs, among rocks and in open grassland" (Flora Zambesiaca online [Note: this site seems to be temporarily down as of 27 Aug 2017, but hopefully it will be fixed eventually; if you find that it IS fixed, please let us know; for questions about that site, contact the KRBG/FZ site manager].).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Northeastern Africa and Yemen; also cultivated (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lau, Alex/Frohlich, Danielle (2013) (p. 13)
Voucher cited: OED 2012031206 (BISH)
Spreading from cultivation.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1990) (voucher ID: PTBG 16265)
Taxon name on voucher: Acokanthera schimperi (A.DC.) Schweinf.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 26 OCT 2012 and was last updated on 27 AUG 2017.