Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Ochroma pyramidale
(Cav. ex Lam.) Urb., Malvaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 8 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Ochroma lagopus Sw.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: balsa, corkwood, down tree

Spanish: balsa

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Monoecious evergreen trees to 30 m or more tall.  Innovations densely stellate-hairy.  Twigs terete, rapidly glabrescent, 7-10 mm diameter, smooth but for petiole and stipule scars.  Leaves simple, spirally arranged towards the ends of the twigs; lamina broadly cordate, 10-26 x 14-30 cm, thin coriaceous ± entire or angularly lobed, apex obtuse to acuminate, base rounded to cordate, persistently densely stellate-tomentose below, glabrescent above, midrib and main veins slightly raised to sulcate above, strongly prominent below; venation 5-7-palmate at the base, midvein with 4-6 lateral veins; petiole ± terete, 2-4 mm diameter, 12-20 cm long, moderately stellate-tomentose even on mature leaves, ± dilated apically; stipules ± deltoid, to 10 mm long, densely tomentose, caducous.  Flowers solitary, lateral or axillary, on a stout ± fleshy pedicel 7 mm diameter and ± 10 cm long.  Calyx tubular to funnel-shaped, to 7 cm long, apically with 5 dilated lobes 1.5-2 cm long, appearing deeply carinate externally in dried material, externally stellate-tomentose, internally wooly, decurrent with pedicel and subtended by 3 caducous bracteoles that leave prominent scars.  Petals 5, contorted in bud, orange-yellow, clavate, 13 x 5 cm, externally stellate-tomentose, glabrescent basally, internally glabrous. Stamens connate into a glabrous tube 11 cm long, the distal half being slightly dilated and densely covered with sessile long wavy anthers.  Ovary sessile, glabrous, conical, ± 8 cm high, 5-locular; style 15 cm long with an apical twisted cylindrical stigmatic mass 3 cm long and 8 mm wide.  Capsule ± cylindrical, ellipsoid, slightly curved, longitudinally sulcate, loculicidal, 15 cm long and 8 mm wide; seeds black, embedded in a mass of woolly hairs"  (Henty, 1981; pp. 16-18).

Habitat/ecology:  In Papua New Guinea, "a lowland species that seeds freely and has established itself in areas near Lae and Madang.  However, its spread is likely to be restricted to areas where it is introduced as a plantation species"  (Henty, 1981; p. 18).  Moist uplands in the Galápagos Islands (McMullen, 1999; pp. 47-48). In Jamaica, locally common in disturbed sheltered moderately wet areas, 500-1500 (-3000) feet (Adams, 1972; p. 394).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Southern Mexico to Bolivia (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 196).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 412)
Voucher cited: Howard 110
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (2004) (p. 228)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island probably introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: F. Hallé 2152 (PAP), J. Florence, D.H. Lorence & W.L. Wagner 9517 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 39362)
Taxon name on voucher: Ochroma pyramidale
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 39545)
Taxon name on voucher: Ochroma pyramidale
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (2004) (p. 228)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (pp. 52-53)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (pp. 52-53)
Voucher cited: BRY 26346
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (2004) (p. 228)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands cultivated
Neal, Marie C. (1965)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 23)
Vouchers cited: Blanchon 1640 (NOU), MacKee 30213
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 33)
"Cultivated, Ngerderar River at old Japanese Expl. Stn.".
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1996) (voucher ID: BISH 650430)
Taxon name on voucher: Ochroma pyramidale (Cav. ex Lam.) Urb.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
Henty, E. E., ed. (1981) (pp. 16-18)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 94)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic 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. 64)
Cultivated only

Comments:  Escaped from botanical garden on Tahiti.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 2 NOV 2011.