Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Dieffenbachia seguine
(N. Jacquin) Schott, Araceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Arum seguine Jacq.; Dieffenbachia maculata ((Lodd. et al.) G. Don; Dieffenbachia picta Schott

Common name(s): [more details]

English: dieffenbachia, dumb cane, dumbplant, mother-in-law-plant

Fijian: yalu ni vavalagi

French: canne à gratter

Spanish: aro seguino, caña muda, chucha, millonaria

Tahitian: taro upu reva

Tongan: talo

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Herb, perennial, erect, to 2 m high or more with a conspicuously ringed stem.  Leaves simple, alternate, blade oblong to narrowly lanceolate, 15-40 cm long on a shorter petiole, green with white spots and fleck or white with green spots and flecks.  Flowers infrequently during the year; flowers many, borne tightly packed in a cylindrical spadix usually 14-17 cm long with an oblong-lanceolate, persistent, greenish or white spathe 15-25 cm long.  Fruit a globose red-orange berry, infrequently formed in cultivation"  (Whistler, 2000; p. 178).

"Erect [herb], with a rather stout caudex usually less than 1 m tall, or accumbent, the lower part rooting at the nodes; leaves petiolate, petiole to 30 cm long, grooved and winged from the base to beyond the halfway point; blades narrowly oblong-ovate, acute-acuminate with a short, fine, almost thread-like apiculum; base shallowly cordate with rounded lobes; midrib strong, lateral veins curved-ascending; surface patterned with many irregular yellowish or cream-green splotches"  (Stone, 1970; p. 121).

Habitat/ecology:  Grows and reproduces in the shade.  In Fiji, "sometimes becoming a minor weed of waste places, roadsides, and coconut plantations"  (Smith, 1979; pp. 452-453).

Propagation:  Vegetatively, only rarely flowers.

Native range:  Tropical Americas; also cultivated (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
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (pp. 5, 12)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 92)
Cook Islands
Northern Cook Islands
Penrhyn (Tongareva) Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (pp. 10-11)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (pp. 10-11)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (pp. 10-11)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 666073)
Taxon name on voucher: Dieffenbachia seguine (N. Jacquin) Schott
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Weno (Moen) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Mazawa, Thomas R. (2000) (p. 5)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Waguk, Erick E. (2000) (p. 5)
Mostly ornamental, some naturalized.
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 6)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 92)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 34)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 92)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (pp. 452-453)
Vouchers cited: DA 7962,DA 12162, DA 11305, DA 11539
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
abo. intro.
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
As Dieffenbachia maculata (Loddiges) D. Don; listed as a Polynesian introduction.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 39398)
Taxon name on voucher: Dieffenbachia seguine (Loddiges) D. Don
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Tahuata (Tuhuata) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 9)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (pp. 307-308)
Voucher cited: Moore 451
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 9)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (pp. 307-308)
Voucher cited: Barrau 1011
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tetiaroa Atoll introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M.-H./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 65)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 121)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 92)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2006) (p. 2)
As Dieffenbachia maculata (Loddiges) G. Don. Vouchers cited: Lorence 9076 (BISH, PTBG), Lorence 9456 (BISH, PTBG, US)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 18)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer & G. Hansen H100303 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lau, Alex/Frohlich, Danielle (2013) (p. 5)
As Dieffenbachia maculata (Lodd.) Sweet. "Spreading extensively in localized patches in an unmanaged portion of Wahiawā Botanical Garden". Voucher cited: OED 2012070904 (BISH)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 92)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 104)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 27)
also Dieffenbachia amoena Bull, Dieffenbachia maculata (Lodd.) Bunt.
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 41)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 58677; also Dieffenbachia maculata (Lodd.) Bunt.; vouchers cited: Fosberg 58677 (US), Fosberg 58774 (US); Dieffenbachia leonii Hort.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 17)
Voucher cited: MacKee 22824
Spontané
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 222)
Dieffenbachia picta Schott; voucher cited: CHR 169956
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 28)
Probably Dieffenbachia picta Schott per Sykes (1970); voucher cited: Yuncker 9932 (BISH)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 14)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 85)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 11)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 92)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 80)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 7)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 11)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1958) (voucher ID: BNM 83)
Taxon name on voucher: Dieffenbachia maculata (Lodd.) Bunt.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 80)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 80)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 90)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 11)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 6)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 6)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 6)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1959) (p. 11)
Potted plant seen in 1952.
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1969) (p. 6)
Not seen in 1961, 1963.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 299)
Ornamental.
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)
Napo
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic 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)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic 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. 34)
Casual
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 112)
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Envahissant principalement dans les milieux perturbés.

Comments:  A common houseplant that escapes, probably as a result of discarded plants or cuttings. Because it is able to grow and reproduce under low light conditions, it can invade undisturbed forests.

Vigorous patches along the summit trail in the Tutuila Unit, National Park of American Samoa, and elsewhere on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. Limited in extent at present (Space & Flynn, 2000).

Extensive patches in the gardens and on the hillside behind the Robert Louis Stevenson house, Vailima, and elsewhere on Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2002).

There is controversy over whether or not D. maculata and D. seguine are separate species.


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