Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Boehmeria nivea
(L.) Gaudich., Urticaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 12 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Urtica nivea L.; Urtica tenacissima Roxb.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: amahadyan, sayafi

Chinese: zhu ma

English: China grass, Chinese silkplant, ramie, rhea

French: ramie de Chine

Japanese: namban-kara-mushi

Korean: mosipul

Palauan: rami

Spanish: ortiga blanca, ramio

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Subshrubs or shrubs simple or few branched, 0.5-1.5 m tall; upper stems, branchlets, and petioles densely patent hirsute, appressed strigose or only strigose. Monoecious. Leaves alternate; stipules lanceolate, free or connate and 2-cleft, 7-11 mm; petiole 2.5-10 cm; leaf blade often orbicular or broadly ovate, sometimes ovate or elliptic-ovate, 5-15 x 3.5-13 cm, herbaceous, secondary veins ca. 3 each side of midvein, abaxial surface snowy tomentose, sometimes light green with strigose hairs on veins, or thinly white tomentose, adaxial surface slightly rough and sparsely hispid, base subtruncate, rounded, cordate, or cuneate, margin dentate from base, apex cuspidate or acuminate. Glomerules unisexual, on specialized, unisexual flowering branches in the axils of current or recently fallen leaves, these paired and much branched, usually shorter than petioles and often congested in fruit, male branches proximal or sometimes absent, female distal. Male glomerules few-flowered, 2-4 mm in diameter; female glomerules many-flowered, 2-3 mm in diameter. Male flowers 4-merous, sessile; perianth lobes connate to middle, ca. 1.5 mm, pubescent. Female flowers rhomboid-ellipsoidal, 0.6-0.8 mm; stigma ca. 1 mm. Fruiting perianth rhomboid-obovoid, compressed, ca. 1 mm, strigose on shoulder, base constricted and stalklike, apex almost without neck, 2-3-toothed; achenes subovoid, ca. 0.6 mm, base stipitate.  This species is extremely variable, but can be distinguished easily by its alternate leaves, cymose inflorescences, and stipitate achenes"  (Flora of China online).

Habitat/ecology:  In China (native), "forest margins, thickets, moist places along streams, roadsides, often cultivated; 200-1700 m" (Flora of China online).  In Fiji, "Sparingly cultivated and rarely naturalizing along roadsides near sea level" (Smith, 1981; p. 239).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Temperate and tropical Asia, naturalized and cultivated elsewhere (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
Voucher cited: R.O.Gardner 5869 (AUCK, K)
Possibly an escape from cultivation.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Guguan Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 58)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 138)
Perhaps cultivated.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Taveuni Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 239)
Voucher cited: DA 11516
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 239)
Voucher cited: Bierhorst F178
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 239)
Vouchers cited: DA 10145, H.B.R. Parham 120
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 254)
As Boehmeria tenacissima (Roxb.) Gaudich. (=Boehmeria nivea var. tenacissima (Gaudich.) Miq.)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 58)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Parker, James L./Parsons, Bobby (2012) (p. 62)
Voucher cited: J. Parker & R. Parsons BIED78 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1971) (voucher ID: BISH 78606)
Taxon name on voucher: Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaudich.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1986) (voucher ID: BISH 599059)
Taxon name on voucher: Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaudich.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1928) (voucher ID: BISH 71140)
Taxon name on voucher: Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaudich.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1928) (voucher ID: BISH 71139)
Taxon name on voucher: Boehmeria nivea (L.) Gaudich.
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 58)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 58)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 65)
Cultivated or naturalized.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 181)
var. tenacissima (Gaud.) Miq.
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 19)
Naturalised
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 25 OCT 2010 and was last updated on 30 DEC 2011.