Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Furcraea hexapetala
(Jacq.) Urb., Asparagaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Agave cubensis Jacq.; Agave hexapetala Jacq.; Furcraea cubensis (Jacq.) Vent.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Cuban hemp

Spanish: cabuya, penco blanco

Habit:  succulent

Description:  "Acaulescent or the stem below ground; leaves 25-40 in compact to open rosette to 1 m across and nearly as high, individual leaves lanceolate, 4-9 dm long, 3-6 cm broad at base, 8-15 (20) cm wide at or near middle, bright green, rigid, slightly concave and smooth adaxially, more or less scabrous abaxially, bearing a subspinose, rather blunt, horny, brownish tip 2-3 cm long, this usually more or less grooved on adaxial side, margins of leaves armed with antrorsely hooked brown teeth or prickles 2-8 mm long; flowering scape erect, including panicle often to 5-7 m tall, the basal stalk 8-10 cm thick; panicle to 2 dm tall, 1-1.5 mm broad at base, lower branches spreading, others gradually more ascending to nearly erect, 1-7 dm long, bearing numerous flowers (or bulblets) on slender, slightly drooping pedicels 3-10 mm long; perianth broadly campanulate to subspreading, oblong segments 2-2.5 cm long, about 8-9 mm wide; stamens about half as long as perianth segments, filaments 4-6 mm wide below, subulate above; style slightly longer than stamens; stigma minute, irregularly fimbriate  or lacerate around rim; flowers often replaced by bulblets 1-3 cm high on many plants, sometimes almost entire panicle bearing only bulblets and few or no flowers"  (Wiggins and Porter, 1971; pp. 783-785).

Habitat/ecology:  In the Galápagos Islands, "in forest openings, along trails and around abandoned ranch sites, or occasionally among shrubs on ridges, often cultivated as an ornamental or to form hedges around fields and pastures.  Extensive thickets are often virtually impenetrable and thoroughly exclude most other plants in such a colony" (Wiggins and Porter, 1971; pp. 783-785).

Propagation:  Seed or bulblets.

Native range:  Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, 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
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
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)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 67)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1931) (voucher ID: BISH 101838)
Taxon name on voucher: Furcraea cubensis Vent.


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 4 MAY 2013.