Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Rumex obtusifolius
L., Polygonaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: dun ye suan mo

English: bitter dock, bluntleaf dock, broad-leaved dock, broadleaf dock, celery seed

French: oseille, parelle, patience à feuilles obtuses, patience sauvage, rumex à feuilles obtuses

Japanese: ezo-no-gishi-gishi

Spanish: acedera de hojas obtusas, acedera obtusifolia, bijuaca, engorda puercos, lengua de vaca, romaza de hojas grandes, romaza vulgar, vinagrillo, yerba mulata

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Erect perennial herbs; stems 6-12 dm long, striate, glabrous.  Leaves oblong-ovate to oblong-lanceolate, basal ones usually 25-45 cm long, 9-11 cm wide, cauline leaves 6-30 cm long, 2-11 cm wide, upper surface usually glabrous, lower surface usually papillose-pilose along veins, occasionally glabrous, margins subentire to erose, undulate, apex acuminate to obtuse, base truncate to subcordate, petioles usually 2-9 cm long, those of basal leaves up to 25 cm long.  Flowers unisexual (and the plants monoecious), usually 14-24 in clusters, these arranged in racemose, sometimes branched inflorescences; staminate flowers with outer tepals 0.8-1 mm long, the valves membranous, 1-1.3 mm long; pistillate flowers with outer tepals 1-1.2 mm long, the valves membranous, 1.5-2 mm long, enlarging to 4-5 mm long and becoming narrowly cordate in fruit, margins with straight or slightly curved teeth, some of which are 1-1.2 mm long, at least 1 of the valves with a tubercle, the tubercles unequal, 0.6-2 mm long.  Nuts dark brown, 2-2.4 mm long, the surface glossy"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1069).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in relatively mesic, disturbed areas and sometimes in areas dominated by native species, 600-1,470 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1069). In New Zealand, "usually near habitations, also common to abundant elsewhere in pastures, river banks and open moist places, and a major weed of gardens and arable land. Plants are often very large and prolific around stockyards, cowsheds and other places with very high nitrogen levels" (Webb et al., 1988; p. 984).

Propagation:  Seed. "The fruits...are lightweight and may be moved long distances by wind.  They are also spread by moving in water and by adhering with mud to the clothes of man, his machinery, and the fur, feathers, and feet of animals" (Holm et al., 1977; p. 405).

Native range:  Europe (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1069).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1069)
Subsp. obtusifolius. Voucher cited: Rock 3464 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1069)
Subsp. obtusifolius
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1069)
Subsp. obtusifolius
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)   Hafliger, Toni J./Wolf, Matthias (1988) (p. 308)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Hafliger, Toni J./Wolf, Matthias (1988) (p. 308)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
"Field margins, moist valleys; sea level to 100 m".
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 315)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 181)
var. agrestis (Fries) Celak
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States)   Hafliger, Toni J./Wolf, Matthias (1988) (p. 308)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 984)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island 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
invasive
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Naturalisé/±envahissant"


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This page was created on 28 FEB 2006 and was last updated on 14 JAN 2007.