Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Coccinia grandis
(L.) Voigt, Cucurbitaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 9 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 21 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Other Latin names:  Coccinia cordifolia auct.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: hong gua

English: ivy gourd, little gourd, scarlet gourd, scarlet-fruited gourd, tindora

Hindi: kundru

Malayan: pepasan

Marshallese: kiuri awia

Pohnpeian: aipikohrd

Spanish: pepino cimarrón

Tongan: kiukamapa ‘ae ‘initia

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Dioecious perennial herbaceous vineStems mostly glabrous, produced annually from a tuberous rootstock; tendrils simple, axillary.  Leaves alternate, simple, blade broadly ovate, 5-lobed, 5-9 x 4-9 cm, acute and mucronate at the apex, cordate with a broad sinus at the base; surfaces glabrous or scaly, with 3-8 glands near the base; margins denticulate; petiole 1-5 cm long. Inflorescence usually of solitary, axillary flowers.  Calyx of 5 subulate, recurved lobes 2-5 mm long on the hypanthium; peduncle 1-5 cm long.  Corolla campanulate, white, 3-4.5 cm long, deeply divided into 5 ovate lobes.  Stamens 3, present as staminodes in female flowers.  Ovary inferior.  Fruit a smooth, bright red, ovoid to ellipsoid berry 2.5-6 cm long" (Whistler, 1995; p. 65).

Habitat/ecology:  Smothering vine, very aggressive, with extensive tuberous root system.  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized and rapidly spreading in disturbed sites, 0-100 m"  (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 569-570).  In Fiji, "a naturalized weed of waste places, canefields, roadsides, etc., near sea level, perhaps originally intentionally introduced; a sprawling or creeping vine" (Smith, 1981; p. 677). In Australia, "C. grandis appears climatically suited to the monsoon zone of northern Australia, tropical and sub-tropical humid zones of coastal Queensland and northern New South Wales.  It could invade dry rainforests of the monsoon zone, tropcal and sub-tropical rainforests and riparian vegetation.  It climbs over shrubs and trees, forming a dense, sun-blocking canopy."  (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; pp. 34-35).

Propagation:  Pieces of vines or cuttings, bird-dispersed seeds, probable dispersal by feral pigs. On Guam, only one sex of the plant is present (male), so spread is entirely by roots, pieces, and cuttings. The shoot tips are used in Asian cooking, so long-range dispersal is often the result of introduction by humans.

Native range:  Africa and Asia to Northern Territory, Austalia; widely cultivated (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 101)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (pp. 3, 9)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
"Potential invader"
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (pp. 3, 10)
Horticultural variety?
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 82)
Invasive species.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Ovalau Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 677)
Voucher cited: DA 17043
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 677)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 825, Greenwood 825A, DA 14363, DA 9693, DA 16706, Webster & Hildreth 14394
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1955) (voucher ID: BISH 14694)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia cordifolia
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 33014)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia cordifolia
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1992) (voucher ID: BISH 663600)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 95)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (pp. 3, 9)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 49)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 569-571)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 22)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H100638 (BISH, PTBG). "Control efforts have begun and it can hopefully be eradicated".
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Martz, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (1999) (pp. 11-13)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 980127-12 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, R. T. (2000) (p. 4)
West Maui. Vouchers cited: Oppenheimer H89913 (BISH), Oppenheimer H89917 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 569-571)
Voucher cited: Lau 1929 (BISH)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 87)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 9)
Single plant on Alaoa Road across from Robert Lewis Stevenson estate. Voucher: Flynn 6968 (PTBG, BISH, US, SAMOA)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 304)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia grandis
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 43782)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia grandis
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Guadalcanal Island introduced
invasive
Orapa, Warea (2005)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-6)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 080601-01
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2010) (p. 63)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 080601-01 (BISH). Subject of an eradication program.
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1993) (voucher ID: BISH 633234)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1998) (voucher ID: BISH 690631)
Taxon name on voucher: Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 60)
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 native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (pp. 34-35)
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)
Thickets on mountain slopes and in forests; 100-1100 m. Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 105)
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)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 27)
Naturalised
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Very aggressive weed on Guam and Saipan, in many places smothering the forest.  Introduced to Pohnpei but is supposed to be a horticultural, non-spreading variety (Space & Falanruw, 1999).

The infestation on Saipan was probably introduced from Thailand.

On the State of Hawai‘i noxious weed list.

Control: 

Physical: Cutting has little effect.

Chemical: A single application of herbicide (Garlon®) may be insufficient to prevent regrowth. Roundup® is only effective against young plants. Because of its climbing habit, use of foliar herbicides is difficult without causing damage to the underlying vegetation.

"Susceptible to basal bark applications of 2,4-D or triclopyr, however finding basal stems difficult in dense stands. Foliar applications of 2,4-D, glyphosate or metsulfuron ineffective; triclopyr and dicamba, each at 1 lb/acre provided excellent knockdown of foliage. This suggests knockdown of foliage followed by basal stem treatments when the plants begin to re-sprout may be successful. Seeds do not exhibit dormancy so ivy gourd may be eradicable from a defined area" (Motooka et al., 2003).

"The Maui Invasive Species Committee has been working to control ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis) for several years. Our current control method is as follows:  The female plants produce fruits in a laundry-line succession.  We follow the vines, collecting any fruit, which we then dehydrate and burn.  We avoid other physical control because grubbing or hand-pulling breaks it up into multiple plantlets which resprout.  We then do a basal bark treatment using 100% Garlon 4 (triclopyr) with 1% blue dye, applying herbicide to adventitious root nodes.  We leave treated plants in place.  In areas of dense cover, we may first do a foliar spray using 2-4% Garlon 4 with a surfactant and blue dye, and then return to treat after the cover has died back" (Teya Penniman, communications to the Aliens listserver).

Biological: "To control this weed, three natural enemies, Melittia oedipus Oberthur (Sessidae), Acythopeus cocciniae O'Brien and Pakaluk (Curculionidae) and Acythopeus burkhartorum O'Brien and Pakaluk (Curculionidae) were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands from East Africa. These natural enemies are being cultured at the Quarantine Laboratory in Guam" (Muniappan and Nandwani, 2002; p. 15).

"Three insect biological control agents collected in Kenya have been introduced into Hawai'i to combat the exotic weed ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis). The clearwing moth, Melittia oedipus, was released in 1996. The larvae of this moth bore into the mature vines and roots of ivy gourd. It is now established in Hawai'i. Two additional agents, which belong to a group known as the African melon weevils, were released in 1999. The first, Acylhopeus burkhartorum, forms galls on young shoots. The second, Acylhopeus cocciniae, mines ivy gourd leaves"  (Smith et al., 2002; p. 8).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 14 MAR 2013.