Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Muehlenbeckia platyclada
(F. Muell.) Meisn., Polygonaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 6 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Homalocladium platycladum (F. Muell.) L. H. Bailey; Polygonum platycladum F. Muell.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: centipede plant, ribbon bush, tape plant, tapewormplant

Fijian: vono ni vavalangi

Filipino: alupihan

Spanish: solitaria, tenia

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "An erect, c. 1 m tall shruby plant with broad, flat, thin, articulate, delicately striate, ribbon-like phylloclades. Leaves sessile, membranous, entire, often lobed at base, 1.5-6.5 cm long. Ochreae 1-2 mm long, ovate, obtuse. Flowers 1-6 in sessile clusters, bracteate, bracts ovate, c. 1 mm long. Perianth segments 5, greenish, oblong, 1-1.5 mm long. Stamens 8. Ovary ovoid, 3-angular c. 1 mm long; styles 3. Nuts enclosed in the fleshy deep red or purplish perianth"  (Flora of Pakistan online).

"A small or large vine, often somewhat woody below, sometimes suberect, glabrous, pale green; older stems subterete, the branches flat and ribbon-like, mostly 1-1.5 cm. wide, many-nerved, conspicuously articulate and divided by cross partitions into short joints; flowers small and greenish, inserted at the sides of the nodes; fruits small, berry-like, bright red"  (Standley and Steyermark, 1946; 24(4) pp. 120-121).

Habitat/ecology:  In New Caledonia: "Cette plante curieuse, assez répandue mais jamais commune dans les jardins et très rarement subspontanée, ne semble pas être indigène en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Quoi qu'il en soit, l'espèce paraÎt être introduite en Nouvelle-Calédonie, peut-être avant l'arrivée dos Européen bien qu'aujourd'hui elle ne soit pas spécialement associée aux jardins mélanésiens. Elle serait indigène en Nouvelle-Guinée et aux Iles Salomon mais seulement plantée en d'autres pays tropicaux" (MacKee, 1994; pp.116-117).  "

In the Hawaiian Islands it is said to prefer a heavily shaded, humid, sheltered situation, but it also grows in lighter shade or almost full sun as long as adequate soil moisture is provided; it prefers a good deal of water, more than is found in most gardens, and does not tolerate salt spray.  On the other hand, in southern Florida it has been recommended as a shrub suitable for use in xeriscape gardens, with moderate drought tolerance and a high light requirement"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; pp. 463-464).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (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 introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 307)
As Homalocladium platycladum (F. J. Muell.) L. H. Bailey. Vouchers cited: DA 3014, DA 738
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Homalocladium platycladum (F.J. Mueller) L.H. Bailey
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Homalocladium platycladum (F.J. Mueller) L.H. Bailey
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Homalocladium platycladum (F.J. Mueller) L.H. Bailey; voucher cited: J. Florence 2398 (PAP)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Homalocladium platycladum (F.J. Mueller) L.H. Bailey
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1936) (voucher ID: BISH 63703)
Taxon name on voucher: Homalocladium platycladum
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (year unknown) (voucher ID: PTBG 56167)
Taxon name on voucher: Homalocladium platycladum
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1937) (voucher ID: BISH 63704)
Taxon name on voucher: Homalocladium platycladum
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (pp. 116-117)
Vouchers cited: Hughan s.n. (MEL), Grunow s.n. (W), Däniker 2857 (Z), MacKee 15877
New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea)
New Guinea Island
New Guinea Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 307)
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)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 307)
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
cultivated
Randall, R. P. (2007) (p. 316)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Standley, Paul C./Steyermark, Julian A. (1946) (pp. 24(4)120-121)
Cultivated commonly for ornament or as a curiosity in gardens at low and middle elevations; more or less naturalized about Coban in thickets and hedges, and probably also in other parts of the country.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Lima
Naturalized


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This page was created on 3 SEP 2012 and was last updated on 30 OCT 2012.