Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Barleria prionitis
L., Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: huang hua jia du juan

English: barleria, porcupine flower

French: barléria, picanier jaune, piquant tac-tac

Spanish: espinosa amarilla

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Erect shrub 60-180 cm high; leaves up to 10 cm long and 4 cm broad; spikes indefinite, the lower bracts not clearly distinguishable from leaves; sepals acuminate, spine-tipped, about 1.5 cm long; capsule beaked, 1.5 cm long; seed about 8 mm long, densely covered with matted hairs. (Adams, 1972; p. 394)

A robust, prickly shrub up to 75 cm high with 3-5 spines, 1-2 cm long occurring in the lower leaf axils. The inflorescence is spike-like with yellow, single flowers. The leaves are ovate (10-13 cm long and 4 cm wide) ending in a short spine. Seeds are 5 mm x 8 mm and flattened" (Csurhes and Edwards, 1998; pp. 26-27).

Habitat/ecology:  "Porcupine flower grows in a wide variety of well-drained soils derived from igneous, metamorphic (including ultramafics) and sedimentary (including limestone) rocks. In the Puerto Rican naturalized range, it grows in areas receiving from about 750 to 900 mm of mean annual precipitation (author's observation). Within the native range, it probably tolerates both higher and lower precipitation, but no data are available.  Porcupine flower is found throughout the hotter parts of India and defoliates annually during the dry season (Parrotta 2001). The species is moderately intolerant of shade, growing in both full sunlight and under light forest canopies.  Porcupine flower may grow as single plants or in large, tangled thickets. Dense stands eliminate most other ground vegetation. However, the species does not compete well in dense stands of tall grass. It is most often found on roadsides, bluffs and bars above streams, overgrazed range, disturbed areas, and farmsteads"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).

Commonly planted as an ornamental. Naturalizes in disturbed areas.  In the Northern Territory, Australia, "it is found at several isolated locations over a large area and is starting to spread down water courses.  Field observations in northern Australia suggest the plant may favour riparian habitats and disturbed sites where much of the original native vegetation has been removed." (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; pp. 26-27).

Propagation:  "Seeds is spread short distances when capsules rupture and by water. Spread by humans as ornamental plantings and in discarded garden refuse" (Smith, 2002; p. 27).

Native range:  Tropical Asia, Africa and India (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; pp. 26-27).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H./Oliver, R. L. (1993)
Perhaps naturalized. Voucher cited: Fosberg 58772 (US)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (pp. 78-79)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 58772 (US)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
cultivated
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 513)
Only in cultivation.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (pp. 26-27)
?
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 479)
In thickets and waste places in and about towns at low altitudes; certainly introduced.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (pp. 26-27)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (pp. 26-27)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Roadsides, thickets, dry places in evergreen broad-leaved forests; ca. 600 m.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Naturalisé/±envahissant"
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 33)
"Cultivated everywhere".
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 344)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Rodrigues Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 344)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 344)

Comments:  A declared noxious weed in the Northern Territory, Australia (Smith, 2002; p. 27).

Control: 

Chemical:  "Mowing, followed by spraying of the sprouts with broadleaf herbicide, is a general control measure for low shrubs and would probably be effective against porcupine flower"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 27 AUG 2009.