Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Indigofera hendecaphylla
Jacq., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Indigofera endecaphylla Jacq. ex Poir., orth. var.; Indigofera neglecta N. E. Br.; Indigofera spicata auct., pro parte majore

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: sui xu mu lan

English: creeping indigo, spicate indigo, trailing indigo

Spanish: añil rastrero

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Semi-erect shrublet (20-) 40-75 cm tall, gradually becoming prostrate.  Main root 50-100 cm x 0.5-1 cm, white.  Stem creeping, up to 2 m long, rooting at the nodes, pale green to yellow, tough; branches ascending, striate, with appressed, biramous hairs with equally long arms.  Leaves pinnate, alternate, 3-5 cm long; stipules narrowly triangular, apex caudate, 5-6 mm x 1.5-2.0 mm; petiole 1-3 mm long, leaflets 9-11, shortly petioluled, alternate, sometimes almost opposite, narrowly oblong-elliptical to narrowly oblanceolate, 3-20 mm x 2-9 mm, apex rounded, mucronate, upper surface subglabrous.  Inflorescence an axillary raceme, 5-17 (-23) mm long; flowers 4-6 mm long, crowded, brick red to pink, occasionally purple or white; pedicel about 1 mm long; calyx tube 1.5 mm x 1.5 mm, teeth narrowly triangular, 2.5-3 mm long, standard broadly ovate, 4.0-5.5 mm x 3.0-4.0 mm, strigose on the back, wings 3.0-4.5 mm x 1.5-2.0 mm, glabrous, margins long-ciliate along the upper auricle; keel 3.5-5.0 mm x 2.0-2.5 mm, hairy, margins ciliate, lateral pocket 1 mm long; staminal tube 4-5 mm long; apex rounded to obtuse, anthers 0.5 mm x 0.5 mm; Ovary glabrous.  Fruit a descending, straight, needle-like, dark brown pod, stiff, somewhat quadrangular to round in cross-section, 2.0-3.5 cm x 2.0-2.5 mm, 5- to 10-seeded, beak 2 mm long, endocarp not blotched.  Seed very small, cubic to quadrangular-ellipsoid, 2 mm x 1 mm, yellowish to dark brown"  (Hanum &Van der Maesen, 1997; p. 157).

See also listings under Indigofera spicata.

"Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacq. and Indigofera spicata Forssk. used to be considered as the same species and were then named Indigofera spicata.  They are now considered to be different species.  The literature is therefore confusing.  In Indigofera hendecaphylla the staminal tube is 4-5 mm long, distinctly larger than the calyx, the apex of the keel rounded to obtuse, the leaves have 9-11, narrowly oblong-elliptical to narrowly oblanceolate leaflets.  In Indigofera spicata the staminal tube is 3.0-3.5 mm long, not exceeding the calyx, the keel apex acute, while the leaves have 5-8 obovate leaflets with a cuneate base"   (Hanum &Van der Maesen, 1997; p. 157).  Thus, some of the species listed below may be misidentified.

Habitat/ecology:  "Thrives from 0-700 m altitude and is found to about 2,500 m.  It requires an average annual temperature of 16-27° C and an annual rainfall of 600-1500 mm, but may be found in wetter locations receiving up to 4000 mm annual rainfall.  It performs best on clay soils, but grows on various soil types, including sandy soils, with a pH of 5.0-7.7.  It is tolerant of poor, moderately acid, P-deficient soils.  Soil covers of I. hendecaphylla are notorious for harboring snakes and leeches"  (Hanum &Van der Maesen, 1997; p. 158).

In Hawai‘i, "introduced as a pasture legume, although it appears to be poisonous to cattle, and now naturalized in low elevation, dry, disturbed areas" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 675-676). In French Polynesia, "widespread and locally common introduced weedy species" (Welsh, 1998; p. 153).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, Reunion, Asia to Papua New Guinea and the Philippines; cultivated and 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
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 36)
As Indigofera spicata but probably this species. Voucher cited: Fosberg 64952 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Mopelia (Mapetia, Maupiha‘a, Maupihoa, Mopiha‘a) Atoll introduced
invasive
Sachet, M.-H. (1983) (p. 28)
As Indigofera spicata but vouchers determined to be this species per Florence et al. Vouchers cited: Sachet 937 (US), Sachet 938 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Mopelia (Mapetia, Maupiha‘a, Maupihoa, Mopiha‘a) Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Indigofera spicata Forsskål. Vouchers cited: M.-H. Sachet 937 (PAP), M.-H. Sachet 938 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Indigofera spicata Forsskål. Voucher cited: J. Florence 3491 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Indigofera spicata Forsskål. Vouchers cited: F.R. Fosberg 62863 (PAP), J. Florence 2440 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1981) (voucher ID: PTBG 37285)
Taxon name on voucher: Indigofera hendecaphylla Jacq.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Indigofera spicata Forsskål. Voucher cited: J. Florence 6012 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 275)
In open dry grassy places 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)
Australia (continental) introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Open ground, moist sunny trailsides; 800-1100 m".
China
China
Hong Kong native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Brunei
Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Open ground, moist sunny trailsides; 800-1100 m
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic 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
Comoros
Comoro Islands
Comoro Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 28 JAN 2010 and was last updated on 13 MAY 2013.