Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Odontonema tubaeforme
(Bertol.) Kuntze, Acanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 11 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Justicia coccinea hort.; Justicia tubaeformis Bertol.; Odontonema strictum (Nees) O. Kuntze; Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze; Thyrsacanthus strictus Nees

Common name(s): [more details]

English: fire spike

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Shrub or suffrutescent herb, up to 2 m tall, glabrous to puberulent; leaves elliptic, up to 25 x 10 cm, occasionally much larger on fast-growing shoots, acuminate at apex, base decurrent to a short petiole, puberulent beneath along midrib; inflorescence up to 15 (-30) cm long, narrow, rarely branched base, peduncle up to 15-20 cm, with or without 2 reduced leaves part way up, rachis and cymules puberulent, cymules very short, fasciculiform, peduncle 1-3 (-5) mm long, flowers 3 or more, congested, subtended by tiny triangular mucronulate bracts and similar but smaller bracteoles, calyx campanulate, 2-2.5 cm long, divided about half way into 5 subequal narrowly ovate acuminate lobes; corolla 25-25 mm long, red, tubular, tube slightly ampliate upward, scarcely bilabiate, 5 more or less similar short lobes spreading, ovate, rounded at apex, fertile stamens 2, anthers 2.5 mm long, included; style capillary, 13 mm long, glabrous, stigma minutely capitate; capsule stipitate, ellipsoid (none seen on cultivated specimens)" (Fosberg et al., 1993; pp. 33-34).

"Shrub 1-2 m high; petioles short, 0.5-2 cm long; leaf blades ovate, attenuate, 7-12 x 4-11 cm; inflorescences  spicate, narrow, compact, many-flowered, 10-40 cm long, sometimes with 2 or 3 lateral spikes arising from the base; pedicels 2-7 mm long; calyx bright red, composed of 5 small, ovate, acute lobes 1-2 mm long; corolla bright red, the tube 20-30 mm long, gradually slightly swollen distally, the lobes 2-5 mm long; stamens included"  (Smith, 1991; p. 135).

"Grande herbacée à base ligneuse pérenne, dressée, pouvant atteindre 3 m de hauteur, reconnaissable à ses feuilles de couleur vert-foncé et ses longues inflorescences dressées portant des fleurs à long tube de couleur rouge-écarlate"  (Meyer, 2008; p. 37).

"Distinguishable by the opposite, attenuate leaves, dense terminal racemes bearing inconspicuous bracts, and red, tubular, five-lobed flowers.  Its tubular flowers are very similar to those of Russelia equisetiformis but its broad rather than linear leaves easily distinguish it"  (Whistler, 2000; p. 334).

Can be distinguished from Odontonema tubaeforme by its slightly larger mauve to pinkish flowers  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 88).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "cultivated from near sea level to about 250 m. elevation" (Smith, 1991; pp. 135-136).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mexico to Panama (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 37-38, 42)
"Signalée « en cours de naturalisation à la CONAF » (Lefeuver et al., 2005 : page 46), nous l’avons vu formant des fourrés denses à la CONAF derrière la pépinière ainsi que dans le village de Hanga Roa" (Meyer, 2008; p. 38).
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (pp. 11-12)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 89)
"Potential invader"
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (pp. 11-12)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1929) (voucher ID: BISH 127676)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 135-136)
Voucher cited: DA 16718, DA 16472
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 33856)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 33857)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Odontonema strictum (C.G. Nees) O. Kuntze. Voucher cited: J. Florence 8497 (PAP)
Ornementale, tendant à se naturaliser.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 22)
Vouchers cited: Moore 493, BRY 25371
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Odontonema strictum (C.G. Nees) O. Kuntze. Voucher cited: J. Florence 10496 (PAP)
"Naturalisé le long de la rivière et localement en sous-bois sombre et humide".
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1927) (voucher ID: BISH 13992)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1927) (voucher ID: BISH 13992)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Odontonema strictum (C. Nees) Kuntze. Voucher cited: J. Florence 10496 (PAP)
Naturalisé le long de la rivière et localement en sous-bois sombre et humide.
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) (p. 22)
Vouchers cited: Florence 2586, Fosberg 63580 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
As Odontonema strictum (Nees) O. Ktze. Voucher cited: J. Florence 2586 (PAP)
Ornementale commune.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 337)
As Odontonema strictum
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1930) (voucher ID: BISH 17861)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1955) (voucher ID: BISH 127677)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 492741)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1990) (voucher ID: BISH 642962)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1934) (voucher ID: BISH 404129)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 535)
Vouchers cited: G.E.S. 54, G.E.S. 308, G.E.S. 309
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 258)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island   Bishop Museum (U.S.A. Hawaii. Honolulu.) (1980) (voucher ID: BISH 430817)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
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
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 9)
Voucher cited: MacKee 15108
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 38)
Single cultivated specimen; present status unknown. Voucher cited: CHR 166948
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 15)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 8)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1973) (voucher ID: BISH 417492)
Taxon name on voucher: Odontonema tubiforme (Bertol.) Kuntze
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 54)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 67)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 254)
As Odontonema strictum Kuntze. Ornamental.
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) 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)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 348)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Lavergne, Christophe (2004) (p. 348)
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)

Comments:  Present in Tutuila Unit, National Park of Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2000).

A large area seen on the hillside behind the Robert Louis Stevenson house on Samoa, along the trail leading to his grave, as well as in the Alaoa area and elsewhere. A serious problem due to its ability to invade the understory (Space & Flynn, 2002).

Spreading slowly through vegetative reproduction on Tahiti.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 30 MAY 2011.