Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Euphorbia heterophylla
L., Euphorbiaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Reject, score: 14 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Euphorbia geniculata Ortega; Euphorbia prunifolia Jacq.; Poinsettia heterophylla (L.) Klotzsch & Garcke

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: bai bao xing xing cao

English: Japanese poinsettia, Mexican fireplant, milkweed, painted euphorbia, painted spurge, paintedleaf, wild poinsettia, wild spurge

French: caca poule

Hawaiian: kaliko

I-Kiribati: te kabekau

Japanese: shyojoso

Spanish: copal, escoba lechosa, golondrina, golondrina erecta, gota de sangre, hierba de leche, hierba del duende, hierba mala de pascua, huachapurga, leche de sapo, lechecilla, lechera, lechilla, lechillo, lechosa, mata ganado, noche buena, pascua, pascuilla, pascuita

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Robust annual herbs; stems (1-) 2-8 dm long, glabrous to pilose. Leaves green, sometimes floral leaves white or with splotches of purple at base, never red, alternate below, opposite above, broadly ovate, elliptic, obovate, or panduriform, rarely linear, blades 4-12 cm long, 0.3-7 cm wide, glabrous or pilose, margins entire to coarsely serrate, apex acute, short-acuminate, or short-cuspidate, base rounded to cuneate, petioles (0.5-) 1-4 cm long, stipules absent or minute and gland-like. Cyathia in dense terminal cymes; involucre 2-2.5 mm high, glabrous, gland 1, cup-shaped with a circular opening, without an appendage; staminate flowers numerous. Capsules subglobose, 3-4 mm long, glabrous. Seeds dark brownish gray to black, sometimes mottled, truncate-ovoid, angled, 2-2.5 mm long, coarsely tuberculate, ecarunculate." (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 619).

Habitat/ecology:  "Grows from sea level to nearly 1800 m but is only a weed in warm climates.  It has adapted to subtropical conditions.  It inhabits cultivated crops, vegetable, pastures, and wastelands"  (Holm et al., 1997; p. 358).

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in low elevation, dry, disturbed sites" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 619). In Niue, "locally abundant in disturbed places and on roadsides" (Whistler, 1988; p. 18). In New Guinea, "a weed of roadsides, waste land, young plantations; widely spread at low altitudes, but seldom common" (Henty & Pritchard, 1975; p. 99).

Propagation:  "Reproduction is by seeds which are shed with an explosive mechanism"  (Waterhouse, 1994; p. 98).

Native range:  Southern United States to Argentina and the West Indies (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 619).

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. 206)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 137)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Observed in survey, no herbarium record.
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 92)
Reported present by Swarbrick but not listed by Smith, 1981.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 374)
As Euphorbia geniculata Ortega; voucher cited: Stone 3979 (GUAM)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 137)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Falanruw, M. V. C. (1980) (p. 206)
Voucher cited: Falanruw & Salomon 964 (US)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1965) (voucher ID: PTBG 23849)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia heterophylla
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1965) (voucher ID: PTBG 23936)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia heterophylla
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaho‘olawe Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Ni‘ihau Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Butaritari Atoll   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1972) (voucher ID: PTBG 31470)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia heterophylla
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1972) (voucher ID: PTBG 31471)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia heterophylla
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Likiep Atoll introduced
invasive
Fosberg, F. R. (1955) (p. 13)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg 33842 (US), Fosberg 27011 (US)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
invasive
St. John, Harold (1951) (p. 283)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Utirik (Utrik, Utrõk) Atoll introduced
invasive
Fosberg, F. R. (1955) (p. 13)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 33672 (US)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
invasive
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (pp. 128-129)
As Euphorbia heterophylla L., vouchers cited: Fosberg 58623 (US), Scully 102N (US?). As Euphorbia geniculata Ortega, vouchers cited: Thaman & Manner 72 (SUVA), Swarbrick 9580 (BRIU)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Îles Loyauté (Loyalty Islands) introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 92)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 18)
Voucher cited: Sykes 1251
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A./Atherton, J. (1997) (p. 32)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 42)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
invasive
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 317)
About settlements and in coconut plantations.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
Henty, E. E./Pritchard, G. H. (1975) (pp. 98-99)
From low altitudes to at least 1500 m.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 61)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 65, 77)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 462)
In waste places, occasional.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 43783)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia heterophylla
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Western Samoa Islands   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 61)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 92)
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 61)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Johnston Atoll
Johnston Island introduced
invasive
Amerson, A. Binion, Jr./Shelton, Philip C. (1976) (p. 56)
"Probably".
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Midway Atoll introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 619)
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 61)
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
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 356)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 356)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 356)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 65, 77)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Weed of cultivation and other disturbed areas. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 180)
Weed.
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)
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)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 65, 77)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 356)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 186)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 65, 77)
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)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (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. 40)
Naturalised
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Weed of cultivation and other disturbed areas.
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 65, 77)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 65, 77)
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
invasive
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 114)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (p. 27)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 37921)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia heterophylla L.
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 24)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 36850 (US)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 356)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Biological:  Waterhouse (1994, pp. 98-101) lists natural enemies of the species.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 4 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 1 JUL 2008.