Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Cardiospermum grandiflorum
Sw., Sapindaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 18 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Cardiospermum barbicule Baker; Cardiospermum hirsutum Willd.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: balloon vine, heartseed, heartseed vine

Maori (Cook Islands): kopūpū takaviri?

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Perennial vines; stems ribbed, branched, yellow short-villous, sometimes sparsely so.  Leaves biternate, leaflets rhombic-ovate, ovate, or lanceolate, 2.5-10 cm long, the terminal one of each primary leaf division larger than those of lateral pair, sparsely to moderately yellowish pilose, more densely so along the veins on lower surface, margins coarsely and somewhat irregularly lobed.  Peduncles 7-14.5 cm long; outer sepals broadly obovate, ca. 2 mm long, the inner pair obovate, 8-9 mm long; petals cream to pale yellow, obovate, 7-9 mm long, all with basal scales and crests; nectary disk with 2 erect lobes.  Capsules ellipsoid to ellipsoid-ovoid, membranous, strongly inflated, 3-angled, 4.5-6.5 cm long, glabrous or nearly so.  Seeds subglobose, 6-7 mm in diameter, aril suborbicular"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1226).

See also Cardiospermum halicacabum.

Habitat/ecology:  Often cultivated.  "Forests, riparian habitats, rocky places.  This fast growing plant forms large and dense smothering curtains of tangled stems that impede the growth of supporting vegetation, eventually killing trees by the heavy weight.  Seedlings of native shrubs and trees are unable to establish under the stands of this plant.  The plant tolerates periodic inundation and the vigorous growth destroys riparian forests in Australia"  (Weber, 2003; p. 82).  "Favours gullies, creeklines and the margins of rainforest, grows rapidly into the tops of trees, forms a thick curtain of stems, excludes light, harbours pests and diseases. Weight contributes to canopy collapse and ecosystem destruction"  (Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland).  In Hawai‘i, "occasionally cultivated, escaping and apparently naturalized in Mānoa Valley and in downtown Honolulu"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1226).

Propagation:  Seed, dispersed by water and wind (Weber, 2003; p. 82).  "Often dumped on bushland edges. The capsules can be carried by wind and float freely on water, dispersing the plant along waterways. Also regrows from root fragments"  (Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland).

Native range:  Neotropics; also cultivated and naturalized (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 88)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 6)
Voucher: Flynn 6986 (PTBG, BISH, US)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 332)
Taxon name on voucher: Cardiospermum grandiflorum
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 137)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9266 (PAP)
Introduite, paraît s'é.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1988) (voucher ID: BISH 558685)
Taxon name on voucher: Cardiospermum grandiflorum Sw.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1226)
Voucher cited: Livingston s. n. (BISH)
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)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
Weber, Ewald (2003) (p. 82)
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
Harley, Barbara (2009)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 2)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Very invasive and widespread on Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Invasive in Australia.

Control: 

Physical:  Hand pull or dig out smaller plants, making sure to remove the taproot.

Chemical:  "1.  Cut and paint stump (spring-summer): glyphosate (333ml/L).  2. Cut stems at waist height (dense infestations), leaving foliage up supporting vegetation in place to rot away. Leave the stems to resprout then spray the foliage with glyphosate (10ml/L)"  (Weedbusters New Zealand).

Additional information:
Fact sheet from the Government of Queensland, Australai (PDF format).
Information and photos at Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland.
Information sheet from Weedbusters New Zealand.

Additional online information about Cardiospermum grandiflorum is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Cardiospermum grandiflorum as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Cardiospermum grandiflorum may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1988. Voucher specimen #BISH 558685 (Florence, J. 9266).

Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP). (online resource).

Fosberg, F. R. 1997. Preliminary checklist of the flowering plants and ferns of the Society Islands. Ed. by David R. Stoddart. U. Cal. Berkeley.

Harley, Barbara. 2009. Weeds of Blue Mountains bushland. (online resource).

McCormack, Gerald. 2013. Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga.

Meyer, Jean-Yves. 2000. Preliminary review of the invasive plants in the Pacific islands (SPREP Member Countries). In: Sherley, G. (tech. ed.). Invasive species in the Pacific: A technical review and draft regional strategy. South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Samoa. 190 pp.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2002. Voucher specimen #PTBG332(Tim Flynn 6986).

Queensland Herbarium. 2002. Invasive Naturalised Plants in Southeast Queensland, alphabetical by genus. Modified from: Batianoff, George N. and Butler, Don W. (2002). Assessment of Invasive naturalized plants in south-east Queensland. Appendix. Plant Protection Quarterly 17, 27-34. 11 pp.

Space, James C./Flynn, Tim. 2002. Report to the Government of the Cook Islands on invasive plant species of environmental concern. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu. 146 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 pp.


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

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 9 MAR 2013.