Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Merremia hirta
(L.) Merr., Convolvulaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Convolvulus reptans L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: mao shan zhu cai

Habit:  vine

Description: 

var. hirta: "A twining or prostrate herb; the prostrate specimens rooting at the nodes or sometimes at the internodes.  Stems slender, 20-50 cm long, fililform, sparsely patently hirsute or glabrous.  Leaves very variable in form, linear, linear-oblong, oblong-lanceolate, oblong to ovate-oblong or ovate, occasionally orbicular to subquadrate; the narrow leaves 3-6 by 1/3-1 cm, 5-12 times as long as broad, the broad ones 1 "-4 " by 4/5-2 " cm, 1-5 times as long as broad, rounded, truncate, more or less cordate or hastate at the base with small or large, obtuse, spreading or parallel basal lobes, obtuse to slightly emarginate and mucronulate at the apex, the surfaces glabrous or sparsely hairy beneath and along the margins, sometimes also above, rarely the indumentum is more developed, especially on stems, petioles, leafblades and basal part of peduncles; petiole short, (1-) 3-8 (-20) mm.  Peduncles filiform, variable in length, 1-7 " cm, glabrous or with a few hairs near the base.  Flowers 1 to few, mostly up to 4, in some specimens to 8; the ramifications of peduncle monochasial (racemelike and unilateral), or the first ramification dichasial and the subsequent ones monochasial.  Pedicels 3-5 mm, glabrous.  Bracts ovate, obtuse, 1-2 mm long, glabrous, persistent.  Flower-buds oblong to elliptic, obtuse.  Sepals glabrous, unequal, the 2 outer ones shorter, elliptic, obtuse, 3-4 mm long, the 3 inner oblong or elliptic-oblong, obtuse, 4 "-6 mm long; sepals slightly enlarged in fruit, to 6-7 mm, with more or less prominent nerves.  Corolla broadly funnel-shaped, 1 "-2 cm long, pale-yellow or whitish, glabrous, midpetaline bands in dried state with distinct dark nerves.  Filaments hairy at the base; anthers spirally twisted.  Ovary glabrous, 2-celled. Capsule broadly ovoid to globular, with a tink papery wall, smooth, glabrous, crowned by the base of the style, ca 6 mm long, 1-celled, 4-valved. Seeds 4 or less, dark brown or black, glabrous or sparsely floccose at the margins and the hilum."  (van Steenis, 1954)

var. retusa:  "Differs from var. hirta by having the inner sepals broader, broadly elliptic to subquadrate, with a truncate to retuse, mucronulate apex, and the outer ones elliptic, obtuse to acutish, mucronulate.  Leaves oblong, 4/5-2 " cm long, hastate at the base, with entire or 1-2-dentate lobes, obtuse to subretuse and mucronulate at the apex.  Peduncles short, to 1 cm long, 1- or sometimes 2-3-flowered" (van Steenis, 1954; pp. 442-443).

Habitat/ecology:  "In open grasslands, along waysides, in dry rice-fields, from sea level to 1100 m" (van Steenis, 1954; pp. 442-443).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  var. hirta: India to southern China, Thailand and tropical Australia, throughout Malaysia.
var. retusa: Philippines (Luzon). (van Steenis, 1954; pp. 442-443).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 469)
In Imperata grassland; not common.
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 native
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (pp. 361-362)
In open grasslands at low altitudes.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 91)
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 native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (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 grasslands, cultivated fields, roadsides, thickets, forest margins; 0-1000 m". Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 224)
On grassland and margin of forests.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) uncertain if introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 60)
Weed of uncertain origin
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Open grasslands, cultivated fields, roadsides, thickets, forest margins; 0-1000 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)


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 11 NOV 2008.