Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Striga asiatica
(L.) Kuntze, Orobanchaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Buchnera asiatica L.; Striga lutea Lour.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: du jiao jin

English: Asiatic witchweed, witchweed

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Erect, branched annual herb to 30 cm tall; root parasite on a wide range of hosts, with shallow roots connected to host by haustoria.  Stems terete below ground, square above, bristly.  Leaves green, sessile, linear, 10-40 - 1-4 mm, scabrid-hairy; lower leaves opposite, upper becoming scattered.  Inflorescence an erect, terminal spike 10-15 cm long.  Flowers sessile or shortly stalked, subtended by scabrid, linear bracts.  Calyx to 6 mm long, ribbed, unequally lobed.  Corolla to 11 mm long, lobed, 2-lipped; tube recurved and narrowing upwards, shortly hairy.  Flower colour varies from yellow through white to pink or red, with a tendency for regional colours (e.g. red in Africa).  Capsules black, ellipsoidal, 4 - 2 mm, 2-valved  Seeds minute, 0.2-0.3 mm long, ribbed, brown."  (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 97-98).

See also Striga angustifolia.

Habitat/ecology:  "The weed frequents light soils, but it will grow well and produce seeds on soils ranging from coarse sands to heavy clays; and infestations are found on peat and muck as well.  The parasite cannot succeed in wet, high rainfall areas" (Holm et al., 1977; p. 458).  "Grassland and cultivated crops on wide range of soil types. Does not grow in wet conditions. Infests a wide range of grass crops (maize, millet, rice, sorghum, sugarcane) and some broadleaf crops (e.g. sunflower, tomatoes, some legumes)." (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 97-98).

Propagation:  "Immense numbers of tiny dust-like seeds dispersed by wind, water and as a contaminant of farm implements and grain" (Smith, 2002; p. 97).

Native range:  Asia (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 97-98).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 5)
At the Badrulchau overlook on the north extension of the Compact Road. Voucher: Lorence 9895 (PTBG, BNM, NY, US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 188)
Taxon name on voucher: Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 251)
As Striga lutea Lour.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 459)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (pp. 442-443)
In open grasslands, parasitic on grass roots, chiefly at medium altitudes.
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)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 459)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 248)
On grassland.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 459)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of)   Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. (1998) (p. 98)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) uncertain if introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 82)
Weed of uncertain origin
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) 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
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   Stoddart, D. R./Taylor, J. D., eds. (1971) (p. 158)
Voucher cited: Stoddart 784 (K, US)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (p. 29)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 23861)
Taxon name on voucher: Striga asiatica
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
MacDonald, I. A. W./Thebaud, C./Strahm, W. A./Strasberg, D. (1991) (pp. 51-61)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Agalega Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Stoddart, D. R. (1983) (p. 137)
Vouchers cited: Procter 4183, Stoddart 7229 (US), Stoddart 7284 (US)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Alphonse Island   Robertson, I. A. D./Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 183)
Voucher cited: Robertson 2859 (K)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Coetivy Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 155)
Voucher cited: Robertson 3062 (K)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
D'Arros Island   Stoddart, D. R./Coe, M. J./Fosberg, F. R. (1979) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Gwynne & Wood 939 (EA), Stoddart 7217 (US)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Frégate Island   Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. (1983) (p. 60)
Vouchers cited: Procter 4163, Robertson 2733
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Platte Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 163)
Voucher cited: Robertson 3031 (K)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Poivre Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 174)
Voucher cited: Robertson 2348 (K)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
St. Joseph Island   Stoddart, D. R./Coe, M. J./Fosberg, F. R. (1979) (p. 47)
Vouchers cited: Gwynne & Wood 969 (EA), Stoddart 7156 (US)

Comments:  "A serious weed in India, South Africa, USA. A principal weed in Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Pakistan and Zambia. Heavy infestation can cause complete crop loss" (Waterhouse & Mitchell, 1998; pp. 97-98).

Additional information:
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Species profile from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Invasive Species Information Center.

Additional online information about Striga asiatica is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Striga asiatica as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Striga asiatica may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce. 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica 15:1-295.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Stoddart, D. R. 1983. List of the recorded vascular flora of Agalega. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. 1977. The world’s worst weeds: distribution and biology. East-West Center/University Press of Hawaii. 609 pp.

MacDonald, I. A. W./Thebaud, C./Strahm, W. A./Strasberg, D. 1991. Effects of alien plant invasions on native vegetation remnants on La Reunion (Mascarenes Islands, Indian Ocean). Environmental Conservation 18 (1):51-61.

Merrill, Elmer D. 1923. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants, vol. 3 [reprint]. Bureau of Printing, Manila. 628 pp.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2008. Voucher specimen #PTBG188(David H. Lorence 9895).

Robertson, I. A. D./Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. 1983. List of plants collected on Alphonse Island, Amirantes. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. 1983. List of plants collected on Coetivy Island, Seychelles. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. 1983. List of plants collected on Platte Island, Seychelles. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. 1983. List of plants of Poivre Island, Seychelles. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. 1983. Vegetation of Frégate Island, Seychelles. In: Sachet, M. H., D. R. Stoddart, and F. R. Fosberg. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 253 pp.

Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie. 2009. Report to the Republic of Palau: 2008 update on Invasive Plant Species. USDA Forest Service, Hilo, Hawai‘i. 227 pp.

Stoddart, D. R./Coe, M. J./Fosberg, F. R. 1979. D'Arros and St. Joseph, Amirante Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 223. The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 48 pp.

Stoddart, D. R./Taylor, J. D., eds. 1971. Geography and ecology of Diego Garcia Atoll, Chagos Archipelago. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 149. Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 237 pp.

Thaman, R. R. 1999. Wedelia trilobata: Daisy invader of the Pacific Islands. IAS Technical Report 99/2. Institute of Applied Science, University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. 12 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Waterhouse, B. M./Mitchell, A. A. 1998. Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy: weeds target list. Second edition. Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service, Miscellaneous Publication No. 6/98. 110 pp.

Whistler, W. Arthur. 1996. Botanical survey of Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago, British Indian Ocean Territory. Isle Botanica. 49 pp.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 14 MAR 2005 and was last updated on 24 JUN 2009.