Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Filicium decipiens
(Wight & Arn.) Thwaites, Sapindaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

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

Other Latin names:  Rhus decipiens Wight & Arn.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: fern leaf tree, fern tree, soapberry

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A middle-sized tree, leaf scars large and prominent.  Leaves pinnate, leaflets 6-8 pair, glabrous, shining, opposite or some alternate, sessile, linear oblong, 4-6 in. long, midrib prominent.  Rachis with a leafy wing on either side between the leaflets, broad at top, narrowing downwards.  Flowers small, numerous, unisexual, pentamerous, in erect narrow axillary panicles, 6-8 in. long.  Sepals narrowly imbricate, glabrous, persistent, petals in male flowers as long as calyx, in female small.  Disk very hairy.  Ovary globose, 2-celled, 1 ovule in each cell, style short, curved,  Drupe ovoid, 1/2 in. diameter, apiculate, purple shining, seed 1, cotyledons much crumpled" (Brandis, 1921; pp. 188-189).

"Tree to 20 m tall. Macrophyll. Leaves compound (pinnate), not deciduous. No thorns or buttresses. Fruit a drupe, about 0.5 cm in diameter" (Friis, 1992).

Habitat/ecology:  "Afromontane rain forest (a local dry subtype transitional to woodland near the lower limit) and undifferentiated Afromontane forest. Elsewhere mostly in riverine forest. Altitudinal range: about 1600 m. Rainfall range: about 1000 mm/year" (Friis, 1992).  "Western Ghats ascending to 4-5000 ft.; Ceylon, in the central province, ascending to 3000 ft." (Hooker, 1872; p. 540).

Propagation:  Seed, possibly spread by fruit-eating birds.

Native range:  Western Ghats [India] from Malabar southwards, Ceylon, eastern tropical Africa (Brandis, 1921; pp. 188-189).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 617)
Voucher cited: DA 12210
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 617)
Vouchers cited: DA 5593, DA 15599, DA 2671, DA 7401 (L.3976), DA 13700 (L.8194)
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 41000)
Taxon name on voucher: Filicium decipiens
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 6645 (PAP)
Planté, se naturalise.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 24)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H70139 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (p. 46)
Voucher cited: D. Frohlich & A. Lau 2010032901 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 24)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H30134 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2004) (p. 28)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 020617-2 (BISH)
Seedlings under trees and nearby, spreading from plantings.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2002) (p. 15)
Voucher cited: C. Imada & G. Staples 2000-10 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 42)
Cultivated only

Comments:  Reported naturalizing in Hawai‘i per communication of Hank Oppenheimer to HEAR.

"[C]ommonly cultivated in Hawai‘i and may escape cultivation." (Wagner et al., 1999).


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

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 6 JAN 2004 and was last updated on 30 MAY 2011.