Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Desmodium nicaraguense
Oerst., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk, score: -2 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Meibomia nicaraguensis (Oerst.) Kuntze; Meibomia rensonii J. H. Painter ex Renson

Common name(s): [more details]

Spanish: engorda-caballo, gutao, Juana de Arco, Juana Larga, pie de paloma, vara blanca, vara de arco, vara larga

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "An erect shrub of 1-3 meters, woody throughout or nearly so, the branches subterete, very densely uncinate-pilosulous with short white hairs, almost tomentose; stipules about 3 mm long, caducous; leaves petiolate, 3-foliate; leaflets usually rather thick, oblong-elliptic, mostly 5-7 cm long, obtuse or usually rounded at the apex, obtuse at the base, very densely pilose on both surfaces, especially beneath, with soft subappressed whitish hairs; inflorescence racemose-paniculate, often very large and much branched, the branches densely uncinate-pubescent, the flowers rose-purple, short-pedicellate; bracts small, lanceolate, caducous; calyx densely sericeous, small, the teeth short, obtuse; standard about 5 mm long; loment 6-8-articulate, borne on a short stipe, minutely sericeous, deeply crenate-lobate on both margins, the joints oval-orbicular, about 4 mm long and 3 mm broad, almost symmetric" (Standley and Steyermark, 1946; pp. 232-233).

Habitat/ecology:  "Wet to dry thickets or open rocky hillsides, often in pine or oak forest, 400-2,400 meters...  This shrub is abundant in many regions along the Pacific slope of Guatemala and Salvador, often forming dense thickets in pastures"  (Standley and Steyermark, 1946; pp. 232-233).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (pp. 6, 12)
Voucher: Flynn 6611 (PTBG)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1999) (voucher ID: BISH 662829)
Taxon name on voucher: Desmodium nicaraguense Oerst.
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1999) (voucher ID: PTBG 291)
Taxon name on voucher: Desmodium nicaraguense
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
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. (1946) (pp. 232-233)
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)

Comments:  Planted on Tutuila, American Samoa, (under the name Desmodium rensonii) and showing signs of naturalizing.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 10 APR 2013.