Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Hibiscus sabdariffa
L., Malvaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk (based on second screen), score: 6 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: mei gui qie

English: Indian sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, Jamaican sorrel, red sorrel, rosella, roselle, sorrel

French: oseille de Guinée

Samoan: uaina, uaina, uaina

Spanish: acedera de Guinea, rosa de Jamaica, serení

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Shrub to 2 m high with red stems.  Leaves simple, alternate, blade ovate to round in outline, 4-15 cm long, typically deeply three-lobed with toothed margins but sometimes unlobed.  Flowers anytime during the year; flowers solitary, axillary, with a calyx that becomes red and fleshy at maturity, below which is a whorl of ten narrow bracts, the epicalyx.  Corolla of five free obovate petals 4-5 cm long, pale yellow with a purple base, surrounding the staminal column that encloses the five-lobed style.  Fruit an ovoid capsule 2-3 cm long"  (Whistler, 2000; p. 255).

"Annual herb to 1.5 m tall; stems reddish. Leaves variable in shape from unlobed to deeply 3-lobed, margins finely serrated. Flowers mostly singular in the leaf axils with large pinkish-white petals, red at base. Calyx red, fleshy. Capsule 5-valed, covered with sparse hairs. Seeds dark brown with tufts of microscopic hairs" (Smith, 2002; p. 60).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "sparingly cultivated and sometimes naturalized" (Smith, 1981; pp. 418-419). In Australia, "disturbed areas, riparian habitats and Eucalyptus savanna. Competes with native species." (Smith, 2002; p. 60).

Propagation:  "Seed is dispersed when eaten by birds and animals and expelled. Spread intentionally as a cultivated ornamental and food plant." (Smith, 2002; p. 60).

Native range:  Africa, now widespread in most tropical and subtropical countries (Smith, 2002; p. 60).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ofu Island cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 51)
Cultivated: Voucher cited Garber 989 (BISH)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Dublon (Tonowas) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 162)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Weno (Moen) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 162)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 418-419)
Voucher cited: DA 11797
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 418-419)
Vouchers cited: DA 2609, DA 5657
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 411)
Uncommon.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 162)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 98)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 98)
Voucher cited: Baumann 14590
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 98)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 15634, MacKee 28834
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Palau Islands (main island group)   Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 33)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
cultivated
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984)
Only in gardens.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 38)
Planted here and there for ornamental purposes and for its edible calyces; not spontaneous.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 81)
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
Smith, Nicholas M. (2002) (p. 60)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
cultivated
Smith, Nicholas M. (2002) (p. 60)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated. Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, Yunnan.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 98)
Cultivated in gardens.
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 48)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)


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

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This page was created on 1 APR 2005 and was last updated on 21 OCT 2010.