Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Tithonia diversifolia
(Hemsl.) A.Gray, Asteraceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 17 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: giant Mexican sunflower, Japanese sunflower, Mexican sunflower, shrub sunflower, sunflower, tree marigold

French: fleur de la fête des Mères, petite fleur soleil

Maori (Cook Islands): kavakava, pua renga, tiare rengarenga

Niuean: matalā, matalaa

Spanish: jícama

Tongan: siola‘ā

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Large, shrub-like perennial herbs to 3 m tall; stems striate, puberulent. Leaves alternate, ovate, or cuneiform, 10-15 cm long, apex acuminate or acute, base acuminate, entire, 3-5-lobed, lobes acute with broad, rounded sinuses, margins often crenate, upper surface velutinous, lower surface scabrous; petiole 5-15 cm long. Heads solitary, radiate, large and showy, ca. 10 cm across; peduncle 8-15 cm long; involucre 2.4-4 cm across, bracts in 3 or 4 series, graduated, imbricate, 1-2 cm long. Ray florets ca. 9-14 in one row, ligules elliptic, 4-6 cm long, apically 2- or 3-dentate, puberulent on abaxial surface. Disc florets numerous, ca. 15 mm long, corolla tubular, pubescent on abaxial surface, lobes yellow. Achenes dark brown, flat, somewhat triquetrous, 5-6 mm long, sericeous. Pappus of 2 sturdy awns and several shorter, broader scales that are connate at base, awns 4-5 mm long"  (Digital Flora of Taiwan).

"Stout shrubby herb or shrub 2-3 m tall; stoloniferous; leaves mostly subovate, acute, serrate, 10-40 cm long, long (2-10 cm) petiolate, simple or mostly 3-7-lobed with acute serrate lobes, somewhat glandular, slightly grayish beneath, puberulent on both surfaces; petiole slightly bilobed at base; peduncles 10-30 cm long; heads large and showy, 5-15 cm wide; involucre of bracts in 4 series; ray-florets about 12-15, with yellow ligules to 6 cm long; achenes cuneate, 4-angled, appressed-puberulent, 5 mm long, 2-awned" (Stone, 1970; p. 586).

"Grande herbacée pérenne dressée à base ligneuse, de 1,5 à 5 m de hauteur, reconnaissable à ses grandes feuilles à 3 à 5 lobes, légèrement poilues, ses inflorescences (capitules) solitaires composées de fleurs à corolle jaune vif à orange, et ses petits fruits secs (akènes) noirs et quadrangulaires avec un pappus formé de petites écailles soudées et de deux arêtes" (Meyer, 2008; p. 39).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, naturalized in low elevation sites (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 369-370).  Naturalized along roadsides and other disturbed areas on Niue (Space & Flynn, 2000).  In Fiji, "found near sea level as a naturalized garden escape along roadsides and in open waste places"  (Smith, 1991; pp. 279-280). In New Caledonia, "peu cultivé mais paraît sporadiquement en peuplements importants de durée limitée" (MacKee, 1994; p. 39).  In Taiwan, "introduced as an ornamental and escaped to borders of orchards, bamboo groves, betal nut plantations and disturbed secondary forests, sea level to 1,000 m"  (Digital Flora of Taiwan).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mexico and Central America.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 39, 43)
"Nous l’avons vu plantée dans le village de Hanga Roa et en bordure de route où elle forme des fourrés denses" (Meyer, 2008; p. 39).
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 9)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 82007)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 9)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 9)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1928) (voucher ID: BISH 133125)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
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
Miti‘aro Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 9)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 9)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1929) (voucher ID: BISH 133124)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1979) (voucher ID: BISH 618513)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Observed in survey, no herbarium record.
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 291)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 74)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Ifalik (Ifaluk) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 291)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 279-280)
Voucher cited: DA 10495
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 279-280)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 88, DA 10278, DA 11414, Bryan 199
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1924) (voucher ID: BISH 133130)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
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)
Vouchers cited: B.G. Decker 915 (PAP), M.-H. Sachet & B.G. Decker 1860 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1988) (voucher ID: BISH 1000346)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: K.R. Wood, J.-Y. Meyer & J.-P. Luce 6354 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1997) (voucher ID: PTBG 28617)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Helmsl.) A. Gray
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 81)
Voucher cited: Florence 5010
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 5010 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1983) (voucher ID: BISH 574234)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 81)
Voucher cited: Moore 705
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island   Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 19)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 81)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1983) (voucher ID: BISH 492376)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 3101 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 492780)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 5760 (PAP), J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11196 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1983) (voucher ID: BISH 550738)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1992) (voucher ID: BISH 644122)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
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. 586)
Voucher cited: Stone 4928 (GUAM)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 291)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1945) (voucher ID: BISH 133132)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1954) (voucher ID: BISH 133134)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 369-370)
Voucher cited: Rock 12964 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 369-370)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2013) (p. 18)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer & Perlman H111230 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 369-370)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 369-370)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Voucher cited: MacKee 25463
Spontané
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Îles Ouvéa (Ouvea Atoll) introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Voucher cited: MacKee 18967
Spontané
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Tiga introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Voucher cited: MacKee 45848
Spontané
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 100)
"Potential invader".
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 379)
Peu cultivée mais paraît sporadiquement en peuplement important de durée limitée.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Vouchers cited: Baumann 16058, MacKee 8154, MacKee 42514
Spontané
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 39)
Voucher cited: Baumann 13901
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 69)
Voucher cited: CHR 170492
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 12)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 6)
Voucher: Flynn 6715 (PTBG, US, NIUE)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A./Atherton, J. (1997) (p. 27)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 117)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9743 (BISH)
"Common and weedy along roadsides and in plantations".
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 15)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2000) (voucher ID: PTBG 30167)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 86)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 83)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
invasive
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 563)
Introduced, now abundant behind Kokopo; Takabur, Toma, Vunadidir, Tuvui.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 611)
Thoroughly naturalized about Baguio, altitude 1,200 to 1,500 m; cultivated in Manila and in other large towns.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 71)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1972) (voucher ID: BISH 100401)
Taxon name on voucher: Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A.Gray
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 68)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 69)
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of)   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 97)
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 107)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2007) (p. 32)
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)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 363)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 8)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 288)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 190)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) 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. 87)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Ching-I Peng, ed. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 363)
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
invasive
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 130)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé/naturalisé"
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 35)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 363)
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)

Comments:  "The Tithonia diversifolia is becoming a terrible pest here [Aitutaki, Cook Islands]; it is just about everywhere, whether the land is cultivated or not, as long as the sun gets to it" (Bill Tschan, pers. com.).

Control: 

Chemical: 1.5% glyphosate in water reported to be effective (Richard Boon, communication to Aliens list server, 12 July 2000).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 8 DEC 2010.