Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Phalaris minor
Retz., Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: xi ge cao

English: lesser canarygrass, little-seed Canary grass, small Canary grass

French: alpiste mineur, phalaris mineur

Spanish: alfarin, alpiste, alpiste valillo, alpistillo, pasto romano

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Habit: Annual; caespitose. Culms erect, or geniculately ascending; 20-100 cm long. Ligule an eciliate membrane; 2-7.5 mm long. Leaf-blades 5-10 cm long; 3-12 mm wide; flaccid. Leaf-blade margins scaberulous. Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle spiciform, or capitate; oblong, or ovate; 1-6 cm long; 1-2 cm wide. Spikelets solitary. Fertile spikelets pedicelled. Spikelets comprising 2 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic; laterally compressed; compressed strongly; 4-6.5 mm long; breaking up at maturity; disarticulating below each fertile floret. Glumes persistent; similar; exceeding apex of florets; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume elliptic; 4-6.5 mm long; 1 times length of upper glume; chartaceous; 1-keeled; winged on keel; winged above; 3 -veined. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume elliptic; 4-6.5 mm long; 1.5-1.6 times length of adjacent fertile lemma; chartaceous; 1-keeled; winged on keel; winged above; 3 -veined. Upper glume apex acute. Florets: Basal sterile florets dissimilar; with vestigial lower floret; attached to and deciduous with the fertile. Lemma of upper sterile floret subulate; 1-1.8 mm long. Fertile lemma elliptic; laterally compressed; 2.7-4 mm long; cartilaginous; shiny; keeled; 5 -veined. Lemma surface pubescent. Lemma apex acute. Palea cartilaginous; 2 -veined; without keels. Palea surface pubescent. Flower: Anthers 3; 1-1.5 mm long. Ovary glabrous. Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; 2.3-2.5 mm long. Hilum linear"  (GrassBase).

Habitat/ecology:  "Forests, riparian habitats, freshwater wetlands, coastal beaches.  A native of dry, open places that grows generally on sandy soils.  It is invasive because it forms dense swards and becomes dominant, displacing native plants and preventing overstorey regeneration.  It is also a significant agricultural weed"  (Weber, 2003; p. 319).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Macaronesia, northern Africa, Europe, western and central Asia (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 12)
"Probably introduced as a fodder plant". Voucher cited: P.S. Green 1488 (A)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 29)
Vouchers cited: Olson s.n. (BISH 120196), Herbst 5945 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Munro 126 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Wagner, Warren L. (1999) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Hitchcock 13915 (BISH)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 61)
"Seul spécimen"; voucher cited: Deplanche 70. Present status unknown.
New Zealand (offshore islands)
Kermadec Islands
Kermadec Islands introduced
invasive
Edgar, E./Connor, H. (2000) (p. 354)
"Waste ground, roadsides, poor pasture, shingle and ballast".
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1925) (p. 78)
Altitude about 1,500 m; probably a mere casual here.
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
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Wheat fields, introduced. Yunnan.
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 273)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 273)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 273)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 115)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 192)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States)   Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 115)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Edgar, E./Connor, H. (2000) (p. 354)
"Waste ground, roadsides, poor pasture, shingle and ballast".

Control: 

Physical:  "Scattered plants can be dug out.  Cutting before fruits ripen prevents seed formation".

Chemical:  "Larger patches can be treated with herbicides"  (Weber, 2003; p. 319).


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This page was created on 11 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 19 JAN 2011.