Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Justicia betonica
L., Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 12 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Nicoteba betonica (L.) Lindau

Common name(s): [more details]

English: squirrel's tail, white shrimp plant

Maori (Cook Islands): moamoa, ‘uru manu, ‘uru manu

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Coarse perennial herbs 0.5-2.5 m tall; stems tinged purple, glabrous to puberulent in lines on the upper stem.  Leaves green, lower surface slightly paler, broadly ovate to elliptic, 9-22 cm long, 3.5-12 cm wide, sparsely strigillose along the margins and veins, petioles 0.5-4 cm long.  Flowers in axillary and terminal spikes, each one subtended by 3 white bracts with conspicuous green veins, the large outer bract ovate, ca. 15 mm long, 10 mm wide, the inner 2 about as long, ca. 5 mm wide; calyx green, 5-lobed, the lobes narrowly lanceolate, ca. 5 mm long; corolla pale lavender with a white spot outlined with purple on the lower lip, tubular, 14-17 mm long, distinctly 2-lipped.  Capsules clavate, somewhat compressed parallel to the line of dehiscence, 2-lobed by protrusion of the seeds, 1.3-2 cm long, puberulent." (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 172).

Habitat/ecology:  "Tolerates shade, forms dense stands in pastures and woodlands"  (Motooka et al., 2003).  In Hawai‘i, "often escaping and forming large stands" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 172). In New Caledonia, "espèce peu cultivée aujourd'hui mais assez répandue" (MacKee, 1994; p. 9).

Propagation:  "White shrimp plant reseeds abundantly and is fast growing and pest free—in short, an ideal weed"  (Staples & Herbst; 2005; p. 87).

Native range:  Tropical Africa and Asia; cultivated and widely 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
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (p. 138)
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Akamaru Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Huahine Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 22)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 61209
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Huahine Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: F.R. Fosberg 61209 (PAP), F.R. Fosberg 63046 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 22)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg 64940, BRY 25433a
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 1)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 22)
Voucher cited: BRY 26455
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 3710 (PAP), P. Morat 6924 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 22)
Voucher cited: BRY 26024
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 4055 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Tikehau (Tikahau) Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 6209 (PAP)
Naturalisée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 172)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 172)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 172)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 172)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 172)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 172)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 81)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 9)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 11879, MacKee 20919, MacKee 41057
Spontané
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 11)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Western Samoa Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 93)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 84)
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)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 4)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 52)
Cultivated only

Control: 

Chemical: "Probably sensitive to hormone-type herbicides.  Controlled by foliar application of low concentration of glyphosate produce (Bryon Stevens, DOFAW) "  (Motooka et al., 2003).


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This page was created on 4 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 16 MAY 2013.