Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Croton hirtus
L'Hér., Euphorbiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Habit:  herb

Description:  "An erect, rather stout annual, commonly 60 cm. high or less, simple or usually branched, the stems and petioles yellow-hispid with long stiff hairs; leaves membranaceous, long-petiolate, rhombic-ovate, often broadly so, 3-7 cm. long, obtuse or acute, rounded or obtuse at the base, coarsely crenate, 3-5-nerved from the base, with 2 long-stipitate glands at the base, stellate-hirsute or in age glabrate; stipules linear, 3-5 mm. long; racemes 1-several at the ends of the branches, 1.5-3 cm. long, the flowers subsessile; bracts linear, with conspicuous stipitate glands; staminate sepals elliptic, acute, stellate-hispidulous, the petals slightly longer; stamens about 10; pistillate sepals unequal, lanceolate or spatulate, 3-4 times as long as the capsule; ovary hirsute; capsule 3-4 mm. long, globose, hirsute; seeds 2.5-3 mm. long, with a small caruncle"  (Standley & Steyermark, 1949; p. 73).

"Erect annual herb to 1 m tall, offensive-smelling.  Stem covered in rigid stellate hairs 2-3 mm long.  Leaves stellate-hairy on both sides, ovate-rhombic, 2-5-7.5 - 1-5 cm, with toothed margins; leaf base glandular, with two stalked glands at petiole apex.  Flowers in terminal racemes 1.5-4 cm long.  Female flowers at base of raceme, green; calyx persistent, unequal-lobed; corolla tiny or absent; ovary stellate bristly, 3-celled.  Male flowers higher in raceme; calyx lobes 5, equal; corolla lobes 5, white; stamens 10 or 11, conspicuous, white.  Fruit a 3-lobed, dehiscent, globular capsule, c. 4 mm diameter.  Seeds 3 mm long, shiny grey-brown, finely and reticulately ribbed, with a tiny white aril."  (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 41-42).

Habitat/ecology:  In Guatemala (native), "open fields or hillsides, 900 meters or less"  (Standley & Steyermark, 1949; p. 73).  "Sunny to lightly shaded positions. Disturbed land including roadsides, gardens, pastures and cultivated areas; sometimes abundant. 0-700 m altitude." (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 41-42). In New Guinea, "a weed of roadsides, cultivation and pastures. Reported from the valley of the Laloki River, from altitudes between 100 and 700 m" (Henty & Pritchard, 1975; p. 97).

Propagation:  "Seeds dispersed by ants" (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 41-42).

Native range:  Tropical America (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 41-42).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea)
New Guinea Island
New Guinea Island   Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. (1998) (p. 42)
Laloki valley
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
Henty, E. E./Pritchard, G. H. (1975) (p. 97)
So far reported only from the valley of teh Laloki River, from altitudes between 100 and 700 m.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
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
Standley, Paul C./Steyermark, Julian A. (1949) (p. 73)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. (1998) (p. 42)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of)   Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. (1998) (p. 42)
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)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of)   Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. (1998) (p. 42)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 29)
Naturalised
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of)   Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. (1998) (p. 42)

Comments:  "A principal weed in Malaysia. Invades orchards, tea plantations, upland rice, tobacco, peanuts and vegetable crops in southeast Asia." (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 41-42).


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This page was created on 14 MAR 2005 and was last updated on 14 MAR 2012.