Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Odontonema cuspidatum
(Nees) Kuntze, Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Odontonema strictum hort.; Thyrsacanthus cuspidatus Nees

Common name(s): [more details]

English: cardinal flower, cardinal's guard, fire spike, mottled toothedthread, odontonema, red justicia

Spanish: lava botellas

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Habit shrubby, 1-1.5 m tall, leaves short-petiolate, the blade ovate-elliptic, 9-15 x 3.5-9.7 cm, sparsely hirtellous beneath on veins and costa; inflorescence terminal, a 3-5-branched thyrsoid panicle, the partial inflorescences racemiform, 10-22 cm long, flowers in cymules of 3-5, on hirtellous pedicels 2.5-3 mm long, calyx red, the lobes 5, triangular-ovate, 1-1.5 mm long; corolla bright red, salverform, slightly zygomorphic, the tube 25-28 mm long, 3 mm wide distally, glabrous without, lobes 5, oblong, 4-5 x 2-3 mm, glabrous without, glandular puberulent within, the margins ciliolate; capsule clavate, glabrous, 10 x 3 mm"  (Lorence et al., 1995; p. 20).

See also Odontonema tubaeforme.

Habitat/ecology:  "Cardinal's guard prospers on fertile and moderately fertile soils that are continually moist. It is moderately tolerant of shade and will bloom in full sun, broken sun, and moderate shade (author's observation, Blomber 2000). In Central America, it grows from near sea level to 1,400 m in elevation (Stevens and others 2001). Cardinal's guard is not salt tolerant (Watkins 1975).  Cardinal's guard is most common in disturbed areas (Stevens and others 2001), along streams and drains, and in extra moist places in secondary forests"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).  "Tolerant of a wide array of environmental conditions (except for salt exposure), fire-spike grows in cool, moist valleys as well as drier sunny lowlands"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 88).

Propagation:  Primarily vegetatively, but occasionally by seed.  Specimens with mature fruit were collected by Lorence on Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i (Lorence et al., 1995; p. 20). "Most of the stands of cardinal's guard in Puerto Rico have originated from abandoned gardens or errant pieces of stem or root that have been transported by streams or dumped in the woods with garden prunings. Once established, plants spread by root suckers. The stems also layer (root) readily when they become prostrate"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).

Native range:  Mexico (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 36)
Voucher: Flynn 6557 (PTBG)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1999) (voucher ID: PTBG 302)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema cuspidatum
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1999) (voucher ID: PTBG 28749)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema cuspidatum (Nees) O. Kuntze
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
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)
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
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
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)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island 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)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 167)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2002) (p. 4)
Vouchers cited: L.W. Cuddihy (ESP) 93 (BISH), D. Mueller-Dombois s.n. (BISH 573852), S. Ishikawa 208 (BISH), L.W. Cuddigy 2073 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 167, 1856)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy W./Wagner, Warren L. (1995) (p. 20)
Vouchers cited: T. Flynn 1859 (BISH, PTBG), D. Lorence 7442 (PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, Randal T. (2002) (p. 2)
East Maui. Vouchers cited: Flynn & Sidler 2577 (BISH), Oppenheimer H119920 (BISH), Oppenheimer H119923 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 167)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2007) (p. 9)
Voucher cited: D. Frohlich, A. Lau, F. & K. Starr 0608102 (BISH)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 59)
"Potted plant in a few household gardens".
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 8)
Voucher: Flynn 6929 (PTBG, US, SAMOA)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 324)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema cuspidatum
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) 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
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 13 DEC 2008 and was last updated on 23 AUG 2009.