Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Desmodium gangeticum
(L.) DC., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Hedysarum gangeticum L.; Meibomia gangetica (L.) Kuntze

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: atis-aniti, tomates aniti

Chinese: da ye shan ma huang

Japanese: tama-tsunagi

Kwara‘ae: tetekui

Mangarevan: tavari

Habit:  herb

Description: 

Genus: "Perennial herbs, subshrubs, shrubs, or rarely small trees, pubescent with straight or uncinate hairs.  Leaves with 1 or 3 (5,7) leaflets, stipellate, stipules scarious, distinct.  Flowers papilionaceous, in terminal and axillary or rarely leaf-opposed, racemose, paniculate, or rarely fasciculate inflorescences, principal bracts striate, persistent or caducous, each subtending (1) 2 to several flowers, sometimes with secondary bracts subtending flowers, bracteoles absent or minute and borne at base of calyx; calyx campanulate, 2-lipped or subequally 5-lobed; corolla exceeding the calyx, standard broadly obovate to suborbicular, rounded or emarginate, wings oblong, usually dark-colored, keel petals long-clawed; stamens 10, connate into a tube or the upper stamen distinct to middle or base; ovules 2 to numerous.  Pods compressed, (1) 2-jointed to many-jointed, constricted on lower or both sutures to form 1-seeded indehiscent articles, faces reticulate-veined, usually pubescent, the hairs uncinate and/or straight.  Seeds compressed, ellipsoid to subquadrate, often rimarillate"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 665).

Species:  A coarse herb to 70 cm high, somewhat woody near base.  The petals vary from purple to bluish or white (Smith, 1985)."Herbaceous, or more or less woody perennial herb from a few cm to 1.5 m tall, arising from a somewhat branched root system; stems prostrate to erect or arching, angular, striate, uncinulate-puberulet and abundantly strigose with upwardly directed tapering hairs.  Leaves 1-foliolate; stipules slightly oblique, ovate-long-attenuate, 3.5-13 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, strongly striate, minutely puberulent and somewhat stiffly pilose over outer surface, ciliate, persistent or caducous; petioles puberulent throughout, moderately to densely long strigose especially on adaxial side, 0.4-2 cm long; lamina ovate- or elliptic-acuminate (to –acute), obtuse at base, 1.2-15.5 cm long, 0.9-5 cm wide, minutely uncinulate-puberulent throughout with long tapering hairs along midrib and sometimes scattered over surface above, abundantly long-pilose beneath.  Inflorescence of axillary and terminal racemes; rhachis more or less similar to stem but becoming less densely or not at all strigose, and abundantly uncinulate-puberulent to -pubescent; primary bracts each usually subtending a fascicle of 3 or more pedicels, linear- to lanceolate-attenuate, 2-7.5 mm long, 0.3-1 mm wide, puberulent on the dorsal surface and stiffly pilose, ciliate; secondary bracts each subtending one pedicel, linear to subulate, ciliate, 1.5-3 mm long, 0.3-0.5 mm wide, all persistent; pedicels rather densely uncinulate-puberulent, stiff and stout, 3-8 mm long.  Flowers variable in colour (probably changing with age and humidity), white to red or purple or a combination such as pink and purple or mauve and white.  Calyx pale green tinged reddish, minutely puberulent and strigose with stiff tapering hairs throughout, teeth of both lobes ciliate, central tooth of lower lobe 2.2-3.3 mm long, lateral teeth slightly shorter, upper bifid lobe 2-2.5 mm long.  Standard obovate, retuse, 3.2-4.5 mm long; wings more or less oblong, obtuse, shortly clawed, slightly auricled, 2.7-5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide.  Fruit sessile to shortly stipitate, up to 7-8-articled, upper suture essentially straight, slightly indented at isthmi, lower suture curved, indented more deeply; articles uncinulate-puberulent on surfaces with some stiff tapering hairs scattered on sutures, 2-3 mm long and wide.  Seed reniform, pale, 2 mm long, 1.5 mm wide" (Gillett et al., 1971; pp. 467-468).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "sparingly naturalized in grassland near sea level" (Smith, 1985; p. 190).  "In Guam this is a weed of old fields especially in the southern villages and pastures" (Stone, 1970; pp.332-333).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Throughout the Old World tropics, now also introduced into Pacific areas as far east as the Societies" (Smith, 1985; p. 190).

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
Anatahan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 109)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Anatahan Island introduced
invasive
Fosberg, F. R./Falanruw, M. V. C./Sachet, M.-H. (1975) (p. 27)
Vouchers cited: Falanruw 1681 (US), Falanruw 1692 (US)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 109)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 109)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 16)
Vouchers: Flynn 7014 (PTBG, BISH, US), Flynn 7026 (PTBG, BISH, US)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 347)
Taxon name on voucher: Desmodium gangeticum
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 359)
Taxon name on voucher: Desmodium gangeticum
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 16)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kandavu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 190)
Vouchers cited: DA 2999, DA 3000, DA 2
Sparingly naturalized.
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: B. Huguenin s.n. (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 15)
Voucher cited: St. John 14482 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 149)
Voucher cited: Grant 5305
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 149)
Vouchers cited: As Seale s.n. [1902], BRY 26307
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1981) (voucher ID: PTBG 37294)
Taxon name on voucher: Desmodium gangeticum (L.) DC.
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Hao (Hau) Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (pp. 332-333)
Voucher cited: Stone 3926 (GUAM)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 109)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 109)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Ohashi, H. (1973)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1981) (voucher ID: BNM 3005)
Taxon name on voucher: Desmodium gangeticum (L.) DC.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Kayangel (Ngcheangel) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 109)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island   Ohashi, H. (1973)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Verdcourt, B. (1979)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 235)
Everywhere in bush, at roadsides, on cleared land and rubbish heaps.
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island   Foreman, D. B. (1971) (p. 45)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Verdcourt, B. (1979)
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)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 285)
At low and medium altitudes in tickets, open secondary forests, waste places, etd., common.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Verdcourt, B. (1979)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 65)
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 native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
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)
"Secondary forests, waste grasslands; 300-900 m".
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 143)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
West Papua Province (Indonesia) (western New Guinea Island) (formerly Irian Jaya) native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Secondary forests, waste grasslands; 300-900 m".
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)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Maldive Islands introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Maldive Islands   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 21)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)


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 15 OCT 2006.