Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Hypoestes phyllostachya
Backer, Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 20 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Hypoestes sanguinolenta hort.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: flamingo-plant, freckle-face, measlesplant, pink-dot, polka-dot-plant

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Herbs to 70 cm tall, young basal shoots especially velutinous; internodes between leaf-bearing nodes 2-6 cm long, 1.25-2.0 mm thick, subtetrangular, glandular plus appressed hairs to appressed hairs at angles only. Leaves petiolate, petioles to 2.5 cm long, appressed hairs on upper surface only; laminae ovate, 2-4.5 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm broad, apically acute, basally obtuse to rounded, margins entire, glabrous to sparingly puberulous on the midrib of both surfaces, most surfaces dotted with numerous pink spots to ca. 4 mm in size, cystoliths present on both surfaces. Flowers borne singly and in terminal and axillary spikes, often with a gradual transition from solitary flowers to spikes, rachises glandular-puberulous; bracts 2 per flower, fused for up to half their length, oblong, 12-15 mm long, 1.4-1.5 mm broad, apically acute to obtuse, with one bract slightly longer than the other, velutinous plus glandular hairs, bracteoles subulate, apically tapered, 10-11 mm long, 1.2-1.3 mm broad, velutinous; flowers sessile. Flowers with a 5-merous calyx, 6-7 mm long, segments equal, subulate, fused for ca. half their length; corolla magenta, 24-25 mm long, ca. 3 mm broad at the mouth, 0.7 mm broad basally, puberulous, upper lip 1 1-12.5 mm long, 3-lobed, lobes rounded, ca. 1 mm long, ca. 3.5 mm broad, lower lip 9.5-1 1 mm long, ca. 1.5 mm broad; stamens exserted, anthers 1-celled, ca. 1.7 mm long, 0.6 mm broad. Fruits clavate, 10-11 mm long, 1.4-1. 6 mm broad, 1.6-1.7 mm thick, puberulous toward apex; seeds 4, oval, 1.6-1.8 mm long, 1.1-1.2 mm broad, papillate. Hypoestes phyllostachya is most easily recognized by its pink-dotted leaves and magenta corolla, with a three-lobed upper lip and one-lobed lower lip"  (Durkee, 1986; pp. 46-47).

"Herb, becoming woody at base. Stems pilose. Leaves dark green marked with irregular pink dots and blotches; petiole slender, 1-7 cm long; lamina ovate, 3-12 cm long, 2-8 cm broad, basally obtuse to rounded, entire, acute. Inflorescence terminal on axillary branches, spicate; involucres 1-flowered, subtended by a pair of reduced leaves usually unequal in size. Calyx cylindrical, 1 cm long, pilose; lobes lanceolate, 2-3 mm long. Corolla c. 2 cm long, lavender-coloured; upper lip c. 1 cm long, somewhat curled back; lower lip c. 0.5 cm long, strongly recurved. Filaments straight, c. 1 cm long. Capsule not seen"  (Flora of Australia online).

Habitat/ecology:  "Widely cultivated as a house plant, and in gardens in warm temperate areas, sometimes escaping and becoming naturalized"  (Flora of Australia online).  In Costa Rica, "often cultivated for its attractive foliage. Escapes from cultivation have been made along road banks in two cloud forest areas, the Monteverde community at 1500 to 2000 m elevation in Puntarenas Province and near San Miguel at about 1600 m elevation in Heredia Province"  (Durkee, 1986; p. 47).  In Australia, "a common garden weed, naturalized in parts of northeast Queensland. Altitudinal range from 500-800 m. Usually grows as a weed in gardens but also found in disturbed areas in rain forest"  (Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Madagascar; naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

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)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
Vouchers cited: W.R. Sykes NI 610 (CHR), W.R. Sykes NI 1007 (CHR)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 11)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 12)
Voucher cited: Botany Dept. sub G. Staples 625 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 12)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
cultivated
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 12)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 8)
Voucher cited: MacKee 21862
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)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
Randall, R. P. (2007) (p. 253)
Invasive species.
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
cultivated
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Naturalized
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Hyland, B. P. M./Whiffin, T./Zich, F. A. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Durkee, L. H. (1986) (pp. 46-47)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Chiapas, Michoacan, Oaxaca, Queretaro, Veracruz


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This page was created on 26 OCT 2012 and was last updated on 30 OCT 2012.