Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Turbina corymbosa
(L.) Raf., Convolvulaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 15 (Go to the risk assessment).

Other Latin names:  Convolvulus corymbosus L.; Ipomoea burmannii Choisy; Rivea corymbosa (L.) Hallier f.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Christmas pops, Christmas vine, ololiuqui, snakeplant, turbina

Spanish: aguinaldo blanco, corona de novia

Habit:  vine

Description:  "A woody vine that may extend 5 m or more laterally and into the crowns of trees and shrubs. Older stems reach about 2.5 cm in diameter. The gray, three sided stems have many lenticels and may be grooved. The young stems are cylindrical and tough. The foliage is concentrated on current year's growth. The leaves, with slender petioles, have cordate blades 5 to 8 cm long with an elongated point. The inflorescences are corymbose cymes that arise from leaf axils. The 2.5- to 3-cm corolla is trumpet shaped, white with a red or purple throat and green or greenish gray radiating stripes. The ellipsoidal capsule has three long and three short sepals that cause it to spin and glide laterally when released. Each capsule contains one brown, pubescent seed (Acevedo-RodrĄguez and Woodbury 1985, Howard 1989, Liogier 1995)"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).

"Scrambling twiner with slender thinly pubescent stems to 8 m or more high; leaves ovate, acute or shortly acuminate, openly cordate or sinus rounded, up to c (-7) cm long and broad; inflorescence repeatedly branched and many-flowered, corymbose; sepals lanceolate, acute or obtuse, hyaline-margined, 5-9 mm long; corolla white with pewter-grey coloration at base outside, dark purplish-red inside, 2-3 cm long, fragrant; capsule ellipsoid, beaked, 8-10 mm long; seed hairy" (Adams, 1972; p. 614).

Habitat/ecology:  "Hammocks, forest edges.  Native habitats of this vine include tropical hammocks and shrubby areas.  It is invasive because it is fast growing and smothers native plants, preventing regeneration of shrubs and trees.  Little is known on the ecology of this species"  (Weber, 2003; p. 442).

In Australia, "naturalised in thickets and rainforest margins in the drier end of the 'wet tropics' region of coastal, north Queensland and in riparian vegetation along the Barron River, near Cairns.  It is currently spreading rapidly along the Barron River, where it is smothering trees in a manner similar to Thunbergia grandiflora"  (Csurhes and Edwards, 1998; p. 132).

Propagation:  Seed, dispersed by birds and water (Csurhes and Edwards, 1998; p. 132).

Native range:  "Christmas vine is native to the West Indies, Mexico through Central America, and the tropical portion of South America (Liogier 1995)"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).

Presence:

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
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 132)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) 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)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Perú
Perú
Perú (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
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1994) (voucher ID: PTBG 2514)
Taxon name on voucher: Turbina corymbosa (L.) Raf.
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
Francis, John K., ed. (2009)
Naturalized

Comments:  Behavior is similar to Thunbergia grandiflora (Humphries and Stanton, 1992; p. 36).

Control:  "No specific recommendations are given for controlling the species when it grows as a weed in agricultural settings. Cutting the vines near the ground, and spraying the resulting sprouts with broad-leaf weed killers, should be effective"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 9 AUG 2011.