Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Breynia disticha
J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Phyllanthaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk, score: -5 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Breynia nivosa (W. Bull) Small; Phyllanthus nivosus W. G. Sm. (also varieties and cultivars)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: foliage-flower, leaf-flower of the Pacific Islands, snowbush, snowbush breynia, summer snow, sweetpea bush

Maori (Cook Islands): kāpaiē, kāvaiē, maemae

Nauruan: eomonon

Pohnpeian: katuk

Spanish: arbolito de Navidad

Tongan: pepe

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Monoecious shrubs or small trees, glabrous throughout, the stipules small; leaves along main branches spirally arranged and reduced, distichous along ultimate branchlets, short-petiolate, simple, the blades entire; inflorescences axillary, the lower axils bearing fascicles of 3-many male flowers, the higher axils bearing solitary female flowers, the flowers lacking petals and disk; male flowers with the calyx fleshy, obovoid-turbinate, shortly 6-lobed, the stamens 3, the filaments connate into a column bearing 2-locular anthers apically, these not apiculate; female flowers with the calyx campanulate to cupuliform, 6-lobed or "toothed, persistent and sometimes accrescent, the ovary 3-locular, the walls thickened distally, each locule with 2 ovules, the stigmas small, subulate-dentiform, incurved; fruit a capsule dehiscing into 2-seeded cocci, the seeds with a somewhat fleshy testa, ventrally invaginated.

"As seen in Fiji, this attractive cultivated plant is a shrub to 2 m high, with the distal leaves mottled with green, white, pale pink and purple, found in or near villages and towns near sea level.  The male calyx is greenish yellow, the female calyx white with green markings, the filament column white, and the anthers pale yellow" (Smith, 1981; pp. 466-467).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "widely cultivated as a hedge plant. It has become naturalized by spreading vegetatively via root suckers where formerly planted around abandoned homesites on Maui and Kauai" (Lorence et al., 1995; p. 35). "Espèce généralement trouvée dans la végétation buissonnante à basse altitude; spontanée aussi au Vanuatu. Formes à feuilles blanches ou roses, largement cultivées comme arbuste ornemental" (McPherson, 1991; pp. 16-18).

Propagation:  Seed? Has a tendency to sucker profusely.

Native range:  China and southeastern Asia through Malesia to Australia, New Caledonia and the New Hebrides, now widely cultivated throughout the tropics (Smith, 1981; pp. 466-467).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 45)
Cultivated ornamental. Voucher cited: Yuncker 9195 (BISH)
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   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Cook Islands
Northern Cook Islands
Manihiki Atoll introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Northern Cook Islands
Pukapuka Atoll introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Northern Cook Islands
Suwarrow (Taka) Atoll introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
var. nivosa
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
var. nivosa
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
var. nivosa
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
var. nivosa
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 22)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 120)
Voucher cited: M.J. Balick 3911 (NY)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 466-467)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 727, 727B; Smith 9623, Degener & Ordonez 13667, Meebold 16893
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 40)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 64877 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 102)
Voucher cited: Moore 198
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 102)
Vouchers cited: BRY 24818, Grant 4337, Florence 2863
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2863 (PAP)
Ornementale utilisée comme haie.
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Raro‘ia Atoll introduced
cultivated
Doty, Maxwell S. (1954) (p. 37)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'nivosa'. Voucher cited: J. Florence 5756 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'nivosa'. Voucher cited: J. Florence 6194 (PAP); also cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
cv. 'Roseo-picta'
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 387)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 133)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Parker, James L./Parsons, Bobby (2012) (p. 67)
Voucher cited: J. Parker & R. Parsons BIED119 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy W./Wagner, Warren L. (1995) (p. 35)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy W./Wagner, Warren L. (1995) (p. 35)
East Maui. Voucher cited: T. Flynn & Sidler 2573 (BISH, PTBG)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Kiribati
Line Islands
Tabuaeran (Fanning) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Wester, Lyndon (1985) (p. 25)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll   Thaman, R. R. (1987)
?
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 133)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 100)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 91)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (pp. 126-127)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 466-467)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre native
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 50)
Cv. Roseopicta; vouchers cited: Soudot in MacKee 25315, MacKee 27728
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1983) (voucher ID: PTBG 31446)
Taxon name on voucher: Breynia disticha
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 86)
Voucher cited: CHR 169719
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 72)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9580 (BISH)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 14)
Possibly naturalizing.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 100)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 133)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 96)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Ha‘ano Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 71)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka and Foa Islands introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 71)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
‘Uiha Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 71)
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 169)
"Occasional as a hedge plant in villages".
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 58)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 51)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 65)
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of) native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 466-467)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 178)
As Breynia nivosa cv. Roseopicta
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 19)
Cultivated only
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 107)
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Cocos (Keeling) Islands introduced
Williams, D. G. (1994) (p. 22)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   Stoddart, D. R./Taylor, J. D., eds. (1971) (p. 152)
Voucher cited: Rhyne 617 (US)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (pp. 27, 33)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 37917)
Taxon name on voucher: Breynia nivosa (Bull) Small
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 25)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 36877 (US)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Agalega Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Stoddart, D. R. (1983) (p. 121)


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 12 OCT 2006.