Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Hibiscus diversifolius
Jacq., Malvaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

English: cape hibiscus, swamp hibiscus

Fijian: kalakala visoni, kalakalauaisoni, kalauaisoni, lewa ni nasanggalau, lewa ni sanggalu

Japanese: divaashiforia

Niuean: fou hele, fou igo

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; p. 678).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "abundantly naturalized as a weed along roadsides and in open fields, ricefields, and thickets, at elevations from near sea level to about 200 m" (Smith, 1981; p. 419). "Uncommon in disturbed places" (Whistler, 1988; p. 29).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Tropical Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius; naturalized elsewhere (GRIN). "Old World tropics, including Malesia, Australia, and Pacific islands. I doubt its indigenousness much to the east of New Guinea, although it is found eastward to Fiji and Niue and also in Hawaii. Probably it was an aboriginal introduction into Fiji, but whether inadvertently or for use as a fiber plant is questionable." (Smith, 1981; p. 419).

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 possibly native
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 20)
"Possibly indigenous. It is now said to be extinct on Lord Howe Is. (A.N.Rodd & J.Pickard, Cunninghamia 1: 279, 1983)". Voucher cited: J.L. Boorman (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island possibly native
abo. intro.
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 9)
"Possibly indigenous...or an early introduction". Vouchers cited: 1969, O. Evans (K); G. Uhe 1186 (K); R.M. Laing (CHR); 1902, J.H. Maiden & J.L. Boorman (NSW); 1804, F.L. Bauer (K, W)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island native
cultivated
Charles Darwin Research Station (2005)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Cerro Azul, Isabela Island native
cultivated
Charles Darwin Research Station (2005)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island native
cultivated
Charles Darwin Research Station (2005)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island native
cultivated
Charles Darwin Research Station (2005)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island native
cultivated
Charles Darwin Research Station (2005)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Lakemba Island introduced
invasive
abo. intro.
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 419)
Vouchers cited: Tothill 27, DA 2525, Garnock-Jones 920
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
abo. intro.
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 419)
Vouchers cited: U.S. Expl. Exped., Smith 6748, DA 10503, DA 16833
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
abo. intro.
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 419)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 158, Degener 15001, DA 2879, DA 14340, DA 2604, DA 10958, DA 7755, DA 10849, DA 12489, DA 14341, DA 2712
New Caledonia
Hunter Island
Île Hunter introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 97)
Voucher cited: Monzier in Veillon 6925 (NOU)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 97)
Voucher cited: Däniker 2562
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 97)
Vouchers cited: Balansa 1362, Le Rat 50, MacKee 15176
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 97)
Vouchers cited: Cribs 1159, Le Rat 734
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
abo. intro.
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 419)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (pp. 112-113)
Hibiscus cannabinus sensu Sykes per Smith (1981). Vouchers cited: CHR 170318, CHR 170329
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 29)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000)
Voucher: Flynn 6683a (PTBG, US, NIUE)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A./Atherton, J. (1997) (p. 37)
Voucher cited: Whistler 10758
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 82)
As Hibiscus cannabinus L. Voucher cited: Yuncker 9879 (BISH). See Smith (1981).
"Weed in clearings and waste areas".
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 43)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2000) (voucher ID: PTBG 30158)
Taxon name on voucher: Hibiscus diversifolius Jacq.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 419)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Setchell and Parks 15257
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 native
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland native
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) probably native
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 826)
"Usually in wet situations".
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 18 JUN 2004 and was last updated on 8 MAY 2013.