Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Sphenoclea zeylanica
Gaertn., Sphenocleaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: jian ban hua

English: chickenspike, gooseweed, hollowstem, wedgewort

Filipino: mais-mais

Spanish: sfenoclea

Tagalog: silisilihan

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Roots numerous, long, cord-like.  Stem hollow, up to 150 cm tall, often much branched.  Leaf-blade oblong to lanceolate-oblong, attenuate at both ends, acute or obtuse, 2.5-12.5 cm long; petiole up to 3 cm long.  Spikes cylindric, up to 7.5 cm long, narrowed at apex; peduncle up to 8 cm long.  Bracts and bracteoles spatulate, the tips arched over the flowers except during anthesis.  Flowers densely crowded, though characteristically only 1 or 2 open at a time, rhomboid or hexagonal by compression, sessile, wedge-shaped below, attached longitudinally to the rhachis by a linear base.  Calyx-segments deltoid-semicircular, obtuse, ultimately slightly accrescent and connivent.  Corolla whitish, pinkish or purplish, 2.5-4 mm long; segments ovate-triangular, obtuse or acute, united about half-way, connivent.  Filaments slightly dilated at base.  Ovary obovoid, 2.5 mm long, apex broad, free, truncate.  Capsule 4-5 mm diameter, dehiscing below the calyx-segments which fall with the lid, leaving the scarious base persistent on the rhachis. Seeds yellowish-brown, 0.5 mm long"  (Shaw, 1968; pp. 1-2).

Illustration by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) courtesy Ecoport.

Habitat/ecology:  "Thrives in almost any kind of damp ground at altitudes below 350 m.  It is found along the sides of ponds, ditches, and rivers, and on dry riverbeds.  It grows in seasonal swamps or depressions which are periodically inundated and prefers stagnant water sites. (Holm et al., 1977; p. 446).  "In and near pools, swamps, streamsides, periodically inundated depressions, ditches, irrigation channels, and wet places generally, 0-1250 m" (Shaw, 1968; pp. 1-2).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Widespread in tropical Africa (excluding the NE Horn) extending south to the Transvaal; also in Madagascar; widespread (but probably introduced) in tropical Asia and America" (Shaw, 1968; pp. 1-2).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 588)
In open wet places; often a rice-paddy weed.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 97)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 110)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Li-ying, Li/Ren, Wang/Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (pp. 174, 179)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 259)
In wet places.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 189)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Brunei
Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 448)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 69, 78)

Control: 

Biological:  Waterhouse (1994, pp. 230-231) lists the natural enemies of the species.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 2 JUL 2008.