Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Russelia equisetiformis
Schlecht. & Cham., Plantaginaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk, score: -2 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: coral plant, coralplant, firecracker flower, fountainplant

French: plante corail

I-Kiribati: te kaibaun

Maori (Cook Islands): menemene

Marshallese: albokbororo

Nauruan: dogaibwangi, dokaibangi, dugaibangi

Niuean: tamafine

Spanish: lluvia de coral, lluvia de fuego

Tongan: toa

Tuvaluan: inouku loa

Habit:  shrub

Description: 

Genus: "Strongly branched shrubs, erect or straggling, the stem angular-ribbed; leaves verticillate or opposite, small, the upper ones often minute or reduced to scales; inflorescences cymose-paniculate, 1-4-flowered; flowers showy, the pedicels ebracteolate; calyx small, deeply 5-partite nearly to base, the lobes lanceolate to ovate, subequal; corolla bright red, tubular to tubular-campanulate, the tube long, widened toward apex, not ventrally spurred or saccate, the throat open, the limb small, 5-lobed, the lobes erecto-patent to spreading, rounded, subequal, the 2 posterior ones external in bud, connate about halfway, not hooded nor enclosing anthers; stamens 4, included within corolla tube, didynamous, the anthers 2-locular, the locules divergent or not, the staminode absent (or very minute); style filiform, upcurved and slightly 2-lobed at apex, the stigma single, entire or slightly bilobed; capsule globose or broadly ellipsoid, septicidally 4-valved, the valves bifid, the seeds numerous, small, oblong."  (Smith, 1991)

Species: "Shrub, spreading, to 1.5 m high with numerous green, drooping, angular stems.  Leaves simple, arranged in whorls of five to eight, blade usually reduced to linear scales but sometimes ovate to elliptic, 1-2.5 cm long.  Flowers continuously through the year; flowers borne in whorls of one to four in loose, stalked cymes at the leaf axils.  Corolla with fused petals, tubular, 1.5-2.5 cm long, shallowly five-lobed at the tip, bright red.  Fruit a subglobose capsule, infrequently formed in cultivation"  (Whistler, 2000; pp. 402-403).

"Shrub to 1.5 m high; leaves up to 7 in a whorl, ovate, to 2 cm long, but mostly reduced  to linear scales; corolla tubular, bright read, 15-25 mm long, the lobes about 3 mm long" (Smith, 1991; pp. 77-78).

"Distinguishable by the shrubby habit, drooping branches, tiny bract-like leaves in whorls at the axils, and red tubular flowers five-lobed at the tip.  The flowers are very similar to those of Odontonema tubiforme, which is easily distinguished by its bread rather than scale-like leaves"  (Whistler, 2000; p. 402).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "cultivated and freely naturalized in sandy clearings and along streets and roadsides near sea level"  (Smith, 1991; pp. 77-78).  In Niue, "large clumps of it grow adventively in a number of places by the roadside"  (Sykes, 1970; p. 192). In New Caledonia, "cultivée dans les jardins et parfois naturalisé" (MacKee, 1994; p. 129). Arid lowlands in the Galápagos Islands (McMullen, 1999; p. 176).

Propagation:  Seed, cuttings.

Native range:  "Mexico, now widely cultivated throughout the tropics and readily naturalizing"  (Smith, 1991; pp. 77-78).

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 cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 62)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9209 (BISH)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll cultivated
Tschan, Bill (year unknown)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Weno (Moen) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 24)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kambara Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (p. 78)
Voucher cited: Smith 1289
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (p. 78)
Voucher cited: DA 16737
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 23)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 11076 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Bora Bora Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 268)
Voucher cited: Grant 5086
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 268)
Vouchers cited: Moore 210, BRY 25393a
Escaping and persisting.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 3483 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 268)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2572 (PAP)
Ornementale banale, tend à se naturaliser en milieu xérique.
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 3068 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Moruroa Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Takapoto Atoll introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M-H. (1983) (p. 36)
Voucher cited: Sachet 2080 (US)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Takapoto Atoll introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: M.-H. Sachet 2080 (PAP)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Tikehau (Tikahau) Atoll introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 7110 (PAP)
Ornementale subspontanée.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 6230 (PAP)
Ornementale commune, subspontanée.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 526)
Voucher cited: Stone 4731 (GUAM)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
As Russelia juncea Zucc.
Kiribati
Line Islands
Tabuaeran (Fanning) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Wester, Lyndon (1985) (p. 31)
Persists in abandoned gardens.
Kiribati
Line Islands
Teraina (Washington) Island introduced
cultivated
Wester, Lyndon (1985) (p. 31)
Persists in abandoned gardens.
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Abemama Atoll introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 10)
Voucher: Imada 2003-170 (BISH 697781)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Butaritari Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Butaritari Atoll introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 10)
Voucher: Imada 2003-52 (BISH 697667)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Butaritari Atoll   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1972) (voucher ID: PTBG 32919)
Taxon name on voucher: Russelia equisetiformiis
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Maiana Atoll introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 10)
Voucher: Imada 2003-99 (BISH 697714)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Marakei Atoll   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Onotoa Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Onotoa Atoll cultivated
Moul, Edwin T. (1957) (p. 21)
Vouchers cited: Moul 8167 (US), Moul 8307 (US), Moul 8387 (US)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tabiteuea Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 10)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1972) (voucher ID: PTBG 32918)
Taxon name on voucher: Russelia equisetiformiis
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Ailinglaplap (Ailinglapalap) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Ebon (Epoon) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 103)
Not seen on this survey and may no longer be present.
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Likiep Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Likiep Atoll introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1955) (p. 20)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg 33858 (US), Fosberg 27046 (US)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 125)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Mejit (Mãjej) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Utirik (Utrik, Utrõk) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Utirik (Utrik, Utrõk) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1959) (p. 6)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 36711 (US)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 195)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg 58678 (US), Scully 157N (US), Hassall 213 (SUVA)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 129)
Voucher cited: Hoff 1232 (NOU)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Îles Ouvéa (Ouvea Atoll) introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 129)
Voucher cited: Sarasin 888
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 129)
Vouchers cited: Grunow s.n. (W), Däniker 156, Buchholz 1611, Guillaumin 8566, MacKee 8146, MacKee 27314
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 192)
Vouchers cited: CRH 168692, 168694
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 107)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9680 (BISH)
"Occasional about dwellings and also along roadsides as an escape".
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 15)
Voucher: BMW 7075 (BISH, CHR, BRI)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 102)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 65)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 250)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 65)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1966) (voucher ID: BNM 1398)
Taxon name on voucher: Russelia equisetiformis S. & C.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 65)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
cultivated
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 504)
Often planted in gardens.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
St. John, H. (1987) (p. 50)
Voucher cited: Fosberg & B. Christian 11180
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 106)
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 241)
"Occasional in villages".
Tuvalu
Tuvalu (Ellis) Islands
Tuvalu Islands   Unknown (year unknown)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-13)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2007) (p. 38)
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. 248)
Ornamental.
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) probably native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 76)
Cultivated only
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 126)


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This page was created on 10 JAN 2003 and was last updated on 17 MAR 2007.