Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Paspalum distichum
L., Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Paspalum paspalodes (Michx.) Scribn.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: shuang sui que bai

English: couch paspalum, eternity grass, ginger grass, joint grass, knotgrass, knotroot paspalum, mercer grass, seaside millet, Thompson grass, water couch

Fijian: kambutu

Niuean: mosi kalalahi

Pohnpeian: dimwir, timur

Spanish: grama colorada, gramilla blanca

Tahitian: matie

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Habit: Perennial; mat forming. Stolons present. Culms decumbent; 8-60 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades flat, or convolute; 3-14 cm long; 3-7 mm wide. Inflorescence composed of racemes. Racemes 2(-3); paired; unilateral; 2-8 cm long. Rhachis narrowly winged; angular. Spikelet packing abaxial; regular; 2 -rowed. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets sessile. Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets ovate; dorsally compressed; turgidly plano-convex; acute; 3-4 mm long; falling entire. Glumes one the lower absent or obscure, or two (rarely); reaching apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume when present ovate; 0.1-0.2 times length of spikelet; hyaline; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume elliptic; 1 times length of spikelet; coriaceous; without keels; 3 -veined. Upper glume surface puberulous. Upper glume apex acute. Florets: Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret similar to upper glume; elliptic; 1 times length of spikelet; coriaceous; 3 -veined; acute. Fertile lemma ovate; gibbous; 2.5 mm long; indurate; pallid; without keel. Lemma margins involute. Lemma apex acute. Palea involute; indurate"  (GrassBase).

See also Paspalum vaginatum L. for records of this closely related species.  Many occurrences throughout the Pacific region may be Paspalum vaginatum, misidentified as this species.

Habitat/ecology:  "Heath- and shrubland, riparian habitats, freshwater wetlands.  Within the native range, this C4 grass is found in sands and muds near the seashore, in saline soils and swamps.  The grass forms dense mats of stolons and shallow rhizomes, outcompeting and displacing native vegetation"  (Weber, 2003; p. 305).

Propagation:  Seed and vegetatively. "The grass spreads mainly vegetatively.  Pieces of stolons easily root and form new plants.  Seeds remain viable in water for some while and are carried by streams long distances to start new infestations"  (Weber, 2003; p. 305).

Native range:  "It probably originates from tropical South America but the exact native range is obscure"  (Weber, 2003; p. 305).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island   Whistler, W. A. (1979) (p. 276)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Aunu‘u Island   Whistler, W. A. (1979) (p. 276)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   Whistler, W. A. (1979)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island native
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 12)
Voucher cited: J. Pickard 2716 (NSW)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 556)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Anatahan Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Pagan Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Dublon (Tonowas) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Fefan Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Lukunor (Núkúnooch) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Namoluk (Nómwunuuk) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Parem (Param) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Satawan Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Kapingamarangi Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Mokil (Mwokil) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Nukuoro Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pingelap Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Fais Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Ifalik (Ifaluk) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Ulithi Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Woleai Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kandavu Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 336)
Vouchers cited: C. R. Turbet 4, DA 2970
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Lakemba Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 336)
Voucher cited: Garnock-Jones 941
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 336)
Voucher cited: DA 16688
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 336)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 227, DA 11706, DA 10125, DA 2346, DA 3965, DA 7759, DA 10061, DA L.11451, DA L.16688
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island native
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 217)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 28)
Voucher cited: Herbst 5954 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 28)
Vouchers cited: Dillingham s.n. (BISH 120043), Dillingham s.n. (BISH 120044)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Butaritari Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Marakei Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Nikunau Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Ailinglaplap (Ailinglapalap) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Ailuk (Aelok) Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Arno Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Jemo Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Likiep Atoll native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Mejit (Mãjej) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Wotje (Wõjjã) Atoll   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Hatohobei Group
Tobi Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Palau
Hatohobei Group
Tobi Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1970) (voucher ID: BNM 148)
Taxon name on voucher: Paspalum distichum L.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island native
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. Field notes)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1977) (voucher ID: BNM 911)
Taxon name on voucher: Paspalum distichum L.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island native
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. Field notes)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1977) (voucher ID: BNM 10009)
Taxon name on voucher: Paspalum distichum L.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 54)
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
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
China
China
China (People's Republic of)   Li-ying, Li/Ren, Wang/Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 174)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 342)
As Paspalum paspaloides (Michx.) Scribn. On farmlands.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 192)
var. distichum and var. indutum Shinners
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Edgar, E./Connor, H. (2000) (p. 567)
"Damp soil at lake edges, sand flats, swampy roadsides, waste ground, also a weed of lawns and cultivated ground - often in fresh, not brackish water".
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mascarene Islands
Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, La Reunion, Rodrigues)
Mascarene Islands introduced
Weber, Ewald (2003) (p. 305)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 267)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Agalega Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Stoddart, D. R. (1983) (p. 132)

Control: 

Physical:  "Cutting close to the ground reduces stolon and rhizome growth but does not kill the plant".

Chemical:  "An effective herbicide is glyphosate"  (Weber, 2003; p. 305).


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

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This page was created on 12 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 30 NOV 2008.