Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Grewia asiatica
L., Malvaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Grewia subinaequalis DC.; Microcos lateriflora L.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: phalsa, phassa

French: grain de bébé

Spanish: falsa

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A middle-sized tree, bark greyish-white or greyish-brown, sapwood whitish, heartwood small, irregularly shaped, dark brown.  Branchlets and underside of leaves varying from glabrous to densely and softly tomentose.  Leaves varying from broad-cordate to obliquely ovate.  Stipules varying from linear to foliaceous and broadly falcate.  Peduncles axillary, in fascicles of 2-10, varying in length from 1/2-2 inches, each bearing 3-5 flowers.  Sepals 1/4-1/2, petals 1/8-1/4 inch, yellow or red and yellow, blade as long as or longer than claw.  Fruit globose, with pleasantly acid pulp, indistinctly lobed"  (Brandis, 1907; p. 98).

"Tree or shrub with reddish net veined branches, rounded, serrated edged leaves to 18 cm long, pointed at the apex and with 5 main veins from the base, yellow flowers and black fleshy globose fruit to 1 cm long" (Robertson, 1989; p. 25).

Habitat/ecology:  "Drier woodlands and on most soils as well as drier vine thickets and coastal regions" (Smith, 2002; p. 19).

Propagation:  "Seeds spread when ingested and expelled by birds and animals. Also spread as ornamental plantings and by floodwaters" (Smith, 2002; p. 19).

Native range:  "Native to India and Nepal, also tropical Asia: Cambodia, Laos and Thailand" (Smith, 2002; p. 19).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Smith, Nicholas M. (2002) (p. 19)
Naturalized on Luzon.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 25)
On dry slopes at low altitudes.
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)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 109)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 109)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
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
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Naturalisé"

Comments:  Becoming widespread in northern Queensland, Australia.

Additional information:
Information from the Purdue University NewCROP web site.
Information from the World Agroforestry Centre's AgroForestryTree Database.

Additional online information about Grewia asiatica is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Grewia asiatica as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Grewia asiatica may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Brandis, D. 1907. Indian trees. Archibald Constable & Co., London. p. 139.

Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: Candidate species for preventative control. Canberra, Australia. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. 208 pp.

Lavergne, Christophe. 2006. List des especes exotiques envahissantes a La Reunion. Unpublished manuscript (Excel file). .

Merrill, Elmer D. 1923. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants, vol. 3 [reprint]. Bureau of Printing, Manila. 628 pp.

Robertson, S. A. 1989. Flowering plants of Seychelles. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 327 pp.

Smith, Nicholas M. 2002. Weeds of the wet/dry tropics of Australia - a field guide. Environment Centre NT, Inc. 112 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.


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 25 JAN 2013.