Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Eriobotrya japonica
(Thunb.) Lindl., Rosaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  yes

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 1 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Mespilus japonica Thunb.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: pi ba

English: Japanese medlar, Japanese plum, loquat

French: bibasse, bibassier, néflier du Japon

Japanese: biwa

Maori (Cook Islands): koata, koata, kōta, kōta, kōta

Spanish: níspero, níspero del Japón, nispolero

Tongan: loketi

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Tree up to 8 m high when mature; trunk well developed; primary stems erect; secondary stems spreading; young stems stout, white-tomentose; older stems with prominent leaf scars, becoming greyish brown and transversely calloused.  Leaves near branch tips; petiole c. 15 mm long, stout; blade oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, 150-350-(400) x 75-100-(130) mm, acute, tapering to cuneate or slightly auriculate base, very coriaceous, ± rugose, dark green and glossy above, thinly grey- or brown-tomentose below (very young leaves completely brown-tomentose), serrate at least in upper 1/2 (sometimes obscurely); stipules long-triangular, ± attenuate, pilose.  Inflorescence of many flowers; pedicels 5-8 mm long, brownish tomentose.  Sepals fused for most of length; lobes 2-4 mm long, brown-tomentose.  Petals white or ivory, oblong, c. 7-8 x 3-4 mm, shallowly emarginate.  Fruit pyriform to broadly ellipsoid-oblong or subglobose, up to 50 x 35 mm; skin yellow, ± tomentose; flesh sweet"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 1078).

Habitat/ecology:  Moist and wet areas up to 5000 ft. elevation. In Hawai‘i, recorded as naturalizing locally in mixed mesic forest and along roadsides in the area of Kokee State Park, Kauai (Lorence et al., 1995; p. 49). In Tonga, "cultivated for its fruit and occasionally an escape" (Yuncker, 1959; p. 127). In New Zealand, "hillsides, scrub, plantations, wasteland near sites of cultivation"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 1078).

Propagation:  Seed, spread by birds and possibly other animals; often cultivated.

Native range:  Japan and China (Webb et al., 1988; p. 1078).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
Pickard, J. (1984) (p. 207)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 21)
"A naturalised escape from cultivation, grown for its fruit". Voucher cited: J. Pickard 3461 (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 10)
"A naturalised escape from cultivation, grown for its fruit". Vouchers cited: W.R. Sykes NI 519 (CHR), G. Uhe 1199 (K)
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (p. 29)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 553)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 33)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1929) (voucher ID: BISH 172799)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1929) (voucher ID: BISH 172800)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.
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
invasive
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
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 88)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Glassman, S. F. (1952) (p. 73)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 127)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 41)
Voucher cited: DA 8301
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 41003)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 128)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2830 (PAP)
Cultivée. Rare à Tahiti.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 493060)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 292)
Status not known.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 88)
Cultivated?
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (year unknown) (voucher ID: BISH 172801)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1100)
East Maui
Escape from cultivation.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Parker, James L./Parsons, Bobby (2012) (p. 72)
Voucher cited: J. Parker & R. Parsons BIED146 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy W./Wagner, Warren L. (1995) (p. 49)
Voucher cited: D. Lorence et al. 6731 (BISH, MO, PTBG, US)
Naturalized in mixed mesic forest and along roadsides.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 31)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H120644 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Herbarium Pacificum Staff (1999) (pp. 8-9)
East Maui. Voucher cited: C. Imada, W. Har & C. Morden 98-13
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
Wester, Lyndon (1992) (p. 147)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2008) (p. 8)
Vouchers cited: A. Lau s.n. (BISH 731468), A. Lau s.n. (BISH 731469)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 121)
Vouchers cited: Guillaumin 8502, MacKee 14407, MacKee 42526
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1977) (p. 134)
Relic of cultivation.
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Raoul Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R./West, C. J. (1996) (p. 460)
Died out naturally.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 226)
Occasionally plante, but is not established and does not thrive at low altitudes. It promises to be successful at medium and higher altitudes.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
St. John, H. (1987) (p. 35)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 52)
Occasional escape.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 127)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15223
Occasional escape.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1953) (voucher ID: BISH 172798)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1989) (voucher ID: PTBG 3900)
Taxon name on voucher: Eriobotrya japonica
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Johnston Atoll
Johnston Island introduced
cultivated
Amerson, A. Binion, Jr./Shelton, Philip C. (1976) (p. 55)
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)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 159)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 159)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Native in Chongqing (Nanchuan Xian), Hubei (Yichang); cultivated in Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (pp. 124-125)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 1078)
"Hillsides, scrub, plantations, wasteland near sites of cultivation".
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 39)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
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
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 113)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
MacDonald, I. A. W./Thebaud, C./Strahm, W. A./Strasberg, D. (1991) (pp. 51-61)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé/±envahissant"
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Kueffer, C./Lavergne, C. (2004) (p. 5)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Baret, Stephane/Rouget, Mathieu/Richardson, David M./Lavergne, Christophe/Egoh, Benis/Dupont, Joel/Strasberg, Dominique (2006) (p. 758)
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
cultivated
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 159)

Comments:  Reported naturalizing at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (elevation about 5,000 ft.), so probably only a threat at higher elevations on tropical islands (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1100, 1890).

Control: 

Physical:  "Hand pull or dig small seedlings (all year round). Leave on site to rot down.

Chemical:  1. Ringbark large trees (all year round), leave to die standing.  
2. Cut down big plants close to ground (all year round). Leave on site to rot down.
3. Cut and squirt (all year round): 1 cut /100 mm of trunk, apply 1g metsulferon-methyl 600g/kg per cut. 
4. Spray (spring-summer): metsulferon-methyl 600g/kg (5g/10L)"  (Weedbusters New Zealand).

"Katie Cassel (Kōke‘e Museum) reported application of 20% triclopyr ester product in diesel to cut surfaces effective. The same solution applied basal bark is also effective"  (Motooka et al., 2003).


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 22 AUG 2011.