Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Desmodium adscendens
(Sw.) DC., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Desmodium ovalifolium Guill. & Perr.; Hedysarum adscendens Sw.; Meibomia adscendens (Sw.) Kuntze

Common name(s): [more details]

English: strongback, tick clover, tick trefoil, tropical clover, zarzabacoa galana

Fijian: kandakanda

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Herbaceous, to almost 1 m in length; stem creeping or forming tussocks, terete, striate with stiff, upwardly appressed to spreading pilosity.  Leaves 3-foliolate; stipules obliquely ovate-lanceolate with long attenuate apex and slightly auriculate base, 0.5-1 cm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, puberulent and pilose to glabrescent on the outer surface, persistent; petiole pilose, 1-3 cm long; leaf-rhachis similar, 0.3-1 cm long; leaflets elliptic-obovate, (acute to) obtuse and emarginate at apex, cuneate to rounded at base, pilose to essentially glabrous on the upper surface, densely soft pilose on the lower; terminal leaflet 1.7-4.3 cm long, 0.7-3.2 cm wide; lateral leaflets 1.3-3 cm long, 0.7-2 cm wide.  Inflorescence composed of axillary and terminal racemes; rhachides striate to grooved, sparsely to abundantly stiff-pilose and finely puberulent with multicellular and uncinulate hairs; primary bracts ovate-acuminate with long attenuate apex, 3.5-5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, 2 pedicels; secondary bracts absent or, if rarely present, depauperate; pedicels with pubescence similar to that of rhachis, 0.4-1.7 (-2.1) cm long.  Flowers usually pink.  Calyx 2-lipped; tube minutely puberulent; teeth of both lobes pilose, 2-3 mm long.  Corolla exceeding calyx; standard obovate, shortly clawed, 4-5.5 mm long, 2.5-3.5 mm wide; wings ± oblong, broader above, slightly auricled, shortly clawed, 3-3.5 mm long, 1-2 mm wide; keel-petals somewhat triangular, truncate at apex, gradually narrowed to a long claw, 3.5-4 mm long, 1 mm wide.  Fruit with a stipe 0.5-2 mm long, 1-5-articled; articles ± obliquely oblong, straight on the upper suture, curved below, constricted about half their width at the isthmi, 3.5-5.5 mm long, 2.5-3 mm wide, uncinulate-pubescent throughout.  Seed transversely elliptic, 2.5-5 mm long, 1.5 mm wide" (Gillett et al., 1971; pp. 461-462).

"A low shrub or subligneous herb 0.3-1.3 m high, the stem sometimes creeping and sometimes forming tussocks with ascending branches.  Its petals are pink to blue or pale purple, and flowers and fruits occur throughout the year" (Smith, 1985; p. 192).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "now locally common and naturalized in pastures, fields, and waste places, sometimes being found on open hillsides and along forest trails up to an elevation of about 500 m" (Smith, 1985; p. 192).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Widespread throughout the tropics of both hemispheres, but presumably originally a native of America" (Smith, 1985; p. 192).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kandavu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Voucher cited: DA 2990
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Lakemba Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Voucher cited: Garnock-Jones 899
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Ovalau Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Voucher cited: DA 1348
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Vouchers cited: DA 14319, Harwood 57, DA July 2, 1947
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Vouchers cited: DA 13192, Degener 15295, DA 10098, DA 1749, DA 9565, DA 14038, DA 5821
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Yanutha Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Voucher cited: DA 9630
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Yathata Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 192)
Voucher cited: DA 15547
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Enewetak (Ãnewetak, Eniwetok) Atoll introduced
invasive
Lamberson, J. O. (1982) (p. 30)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 82)
Voucher cited: Toutain 3673 (NOU)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Îles Ouvéa (Ouvea Atoll) introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 82)
Voucher cited: Blanchon 1484
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Tiga introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 82)
Voucher cited: MacKee 45868
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 381)
Largement répandue a l'état spontané.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 82)
Vouchers cited: Le Rat 514, Franc 1339, Franc 2059, MacKee 3796, MacKee 23314
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 82)
Voucher cited: MacKee 23465
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)
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)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (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)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (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)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Rodrigues Island native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)


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This page was created on 23 APR 2005 and was last updated on 15 OCT 2006.