Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Gouania polygama
(Jacq.) Urb., Rhamnaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Gouania tomentosa Jacq.; Rhamnus polygama Jacq.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: chewstick, soap vine

Spanish: canillo, jaboncilla

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Mostly vinelike with slender branches, often climbing to 5 m or more; twigs and leaves densely (or leaves rarely sparsely) brown-tomentose with stiff, spreading, simple to few-rayed hairs; stipules lance-triangular, attenuate, 3-6 mm long, ciliolate, caducous, hirsute on outer surface, subglabrate within; petioles somewhat stoutish, 5-25 mm long, tomentose or hirtellous; leaf blades ovate to broadly elliptic, obtuse, rounded or truncate at base, short-acuminate apically, 5-12 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, dark green and sparsely to moderately pubescent above, brownish and more densely tomentose beneath, margins shallowly and coarsely crenate-serrate, tip of each tooth cartilaginous; veins 4-7 on each side, arcuately curved upward, prominulous; inflorescences terminal on branchlets and axillary to upper leaves, simple or paniculately branched, the branches slender, 6-15 cm long, mostly deciduous; calyx lobes triangular, about 1 mm long and wide, tomentose without, glabrous within; petals 1-1.4 mm long, cucullate, each partially enfolding a stamen; stamens inserted near margin of calyx tube, filaments dilated basally; disk 5-lobed, conspicuous, almost equaling calyx tube, its margin often 2- or 3-toothed at tip of each lobe; fruits about 5-8 mm long, 6-12 mm broad, each coccus bearing a thin wing 1-1.5 mm wide along its outer angle, outer surface inconspicuously reticulate-veined and sparsely puberulent to glabrate on the rounded back, pale brown; seeds obovoid-compressed, about 4 mm long, 3 mm wide, brown and shining, slightly rounded abaxially, low-carinate adaxially"  (Wiggins & Porter, 1971; pp. 735-737).

Habitat/ecology:  "In shrubby or openly forested areas" (Wiggins & Porter, 1971; pp. 735-737).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mexico; Central and South America (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)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
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)
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)

Comments:  Probably not native to the Galápagos Islands; probably introduced per Charles Darwin Research Station.


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This page was created on 22 JUN 2004 and was last updated on 4 SEP 2012.