Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Plantago debilis
R.Br., Plantaginaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

English: weak plantain

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Short-lived perennial or annual herbs from a taproot.  Leaves basal, thin, narrowly oblanceolate to elliptic-oblanceolate or ovate, 3-15 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, 3-nerved, appressed pilose, margins remotely coarsely dentate to dentate, gradually or abruptly attenuate to a narrowly winged petiole 0.5-2 cm long.  Scapes (5-) 12-20 cm long, spikes (2-) 4-10 cm long, moderately appressed pilose, flowers not closely spaced, becoming widely spaced toward base, bracts ovate-elliptic, 1-1.5 mm long, pubescent toward base; sepals subequal, distinct, elliptic, scarious except for the green midrib, 1.5-2 (-3) mm long, more or less pubescent on midrib; corolla lobes reflexed, 0.8-1 mm long; ovary with 5 ovules.  Capsules ellipsoid, 2.4-3 mm long, dehiscent at or slightly below middle.  Seeds 1-5, yellow to dark brown, ca. 1 mm long, with a thin mucilaginous membrane" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1050-1051).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "sparingly naturalized in open, urban sites at 3 areas on O‘ahu" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1050-1051).  In Tonga, "uncommon in disturbed places" (Whistler, 1988; p. 33).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Australia (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1050-1051).

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
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 10)
"Likely to have been introduced with fodder". Vouchers cited: P.S. Green 2431 (K), P.S. Green 1366 (A), J.D. McComish 140 (K), J.D. McComish 56 (K)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 9)
Voucher cited: W.R. Sykes 362/91 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1050-1051)
Sparingly naturalized.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 115)
Vouchers cited: Cribs 577, Däniker 404 (Z)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 56)
Voucher cited: Parks 16242
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 56)
Voucher cited: Setchell & Parks 15507
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) native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1050-1051)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 947)
"Occasional in poor, dry pastures and roadsides".


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 21 OCT 2006.