Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Acacia mearnsii
De Wild., Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

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

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: hei jing

English: black wattle, green wattle, late black wattle, tan wattle

French: acacia noir, mimosa argenté, mosa

Maori (Cook Islands): ākasia

Spanish: acacia negra

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Trees, 9-15 m tall. Branchlets angulate, gray-white tomentose. Young leaves golden tomentose, mature leaves gray pubescent; rachis not angulate; pinnae 6-30 pairs, 0.5-5.5 cm, glands at rachis of pinna insertion and elsewhere; leaflets 10-68 pairs, dense, linear, 0.7-6 x 0.4-0.8(-1) mm, margin, abaxial surface, or sometimes both surfaces pubescent. Heads globose, 6-7 mm in diameter, arranged in axillary racemes or terminal panicles; peduncles 7-10 mm; rachis yellow, densely tomentose. Flowers yellowish or white. Legume black, oblong, flat, 5-10 cm x 4-5 mm, slightly constricted between seeds, pubescent. Seeds black, shiny, ovoid"  (Flora of China online).

"Unarmed, evergreen tree 5-10 (-15) m high; branchlets shallowly ridged; all parts finely hairy; growth tips golden-hairy.  Leaves:  Dark olive-green, finely hairy, bipinnate; leaflets short (1.5-4 mm) and crowded; raised glands occur at and between the junctions of pinnae pairs.  Flowers:  Pale yellow or cream, globular flowerheads in large, fragrant sprays.  Fruits:  Dark brown pods, finely hairy, usually markedly constricted"  (Henderson, 1995; p. 55).

"Arbre de 5 à 15 m de hauteur, reconnaissable à ses feuilles bipennées (composées de petites folioles) et ses gousses comprimées au niveau des graines" (Meyer, 2008; p. 35).

Habitat/ecology:  "Riparian habitats, coastal scrub, dry to mesic forests, grassland" (Weber, 2003; p. 16).  This noxious, evergreen tree often reaches 20 m in height. Apart from producing copious numbers of seeds, it generates numerous suckers resulting in monotypic thickets.  It grows in disturbed, mesic habitats between 600-1,700 m. 

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in pastures and dry to mesic forest, 245-1,220 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 642-643).

Propagation:  Prolific seeder, closes in pastures and displaces natives in natural areas"  (Mootka et al., 2003).  The species resprouts by basal shoots following fire, thereby generally intensifying the infestation.

Native range:  Australia.

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
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 35, 41)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 642-643)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaho‘olawe Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2006) (p. 35)
Voucher cited: Starr, Starr, Higashino & Price 041227-2 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 642-643)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 642-643)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 642-643)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Hughes, Guy D'Oyly (1995) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: Hughes 51 (US)
Rapidly spreading, forming monotypic stands, and displacing native species, below 850 m elevation.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 642-643)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
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) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales native
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 707)
"Waste places, scrubland, pasture, riverbanks".
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
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)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Très envahissant"
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Kueffer, C./Lavergne, C. (2004) (p. 5)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Baret, Stephane/Rouget, Mathieu/Richardson, David M./Lavergne, Christophe/Egoh, Benis/Dupont, Joel/Strasberg, Dominique (2006) (p. 758)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) introduced
Henderson, Lesley (1995)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  On the State of Hawaii noxious weed list. A noxious weed species in South Africa and La Réunion.

Control: 

Chemical:  "Saplings sensitive to foliar applications of triclopyr. Dicamba, glyphosate and picloram applied cut-surface effective, triclopyr probably effective, although applications to drilled holes in larger trees probably necessary. Cut-surface (notching) applications of picloram provided complete control, glyphosate and dicamba caused 80% control, and 2,4-D was inadequate at Kala'e, Molokai. Alton Arakaki (Univ. Hawaii) and Ed Misaki of the Nature Conservancy (TNC) confirmed the efficacy of picloram but got much better results with glyphosate and dicamba, each resulting in over 90% control at Kamakou Preserve. Basal bark and stump bark treatments with 2,4-D or triclopyr effective. Pat Bily (TNC) reported that basal bark applications with triclopyr ester at 20% in oil was effective, as was cut stump application of triclopyr amine at 50% in water.  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HAVO) staff got good control with triclopyr amine at 10% in water applied to cut stumps (Chris Zimmer, HAVO).  Anecdotes indicate that wattle is sensitive to basal bark treatment with diesel alone and to girdling (stripping the bark)."  (Motooka et al., 2003)

Additional information:
Excerpt from the book "Weeds of Hawaii‘s Pastures and Natural Areas; An Identification and Management Guide" (Motooka et al., 2003). (PDF format).
Information from the Purdue University NewCROP web site.
Fact sheet from "Common forest trees of Hawaii" (PDF format).
Fact sheet from Florabank.
Information from the World Agroforestry Centre's AgroForestryTree Database.
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Information from the USDA Tropical Tree Seed Manual (PDF Format).

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

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

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

References:

Australian Biological Resources Study. 2013. Flora of Australia Online. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra.

Australian National Botanic Gardens. 2013. Australian plant common name database. Online resource.

Baret, Stephane/Rouget, Mathieu/Richardson, David M./Lavergne, Christophe/Egoh, Benis/Dupont, Joel/Strasberg, Dominique. 2006. Current distribution and potential extent of the most invasive alien plant species on La Réunion (Indian Ocean, Mascarene islands). Austral Ecology (2006) 31, 747-758.

Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France. 2013. Les espéces envahissantes en outre-mer (online resource).

Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. 2001. Plant invaders. Earthscan Publications, Ltd., London. 241 pp.

Henderson, Lesley. 1995. Plant invaders of Southern Africa. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 5, Agriculture Research Council, ARC/LNR, Pretoria, South Africa. 177 pp.

Hughes, Guy D'Oyly. 1995. New Hawaiian plant records II. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Miller, Scott, E., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 1994. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 42:1-10.

Kueffer, C./Lavergne, C. 2004. Case studies on the status of invasive woody plant species in the western Indian Ocean. 4. R233;union. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Forestry Department, Forest Resources Division, Forest Resources Development Service, Working Paper FBS/4-4E. 37 pp.

Lavergne, Christophe. 2006. List des especes exotiques envahissantes a La Reunion. Unpublished manuscript (Excel file). .

Little, Elbert L./Skolmen, Roger G. 1989. Common forest trees of Hawaii (native and introduced). USDA Agriculture Handbook 679. Washington, D.C. 377 pp. + plates.

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.

McCormack, Gerald. 2013. Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga.

Meyer, Jean-Yves. 2008. Rapport de mission d'expertise a Rapa Nui du 02 au 11 Juin 2008: Plan d'action strategique pour lutter contre les plantes introduites envahissantes sur Rapa Nui (Île de pâques) [Strategic action plan to control invasive alien plants on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) [unpublished report]. Délégation à la Recherche, Ministère de l'Education, l'Enseignement supérieur et la Recherche, B.P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti, Polynésie française. 62 pp. .

Motooka, Philip/Castro, Luisa/Nelson, Duane/Nagai, Guy/Ching, Lincoln. 2003. Weeds of Hawaii‘s Pastures and Natural Areas; An Identification and Management Guide. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 184 pp.

Motooka, Philip/Ching, Lincoln/Nagai, Guy. 2002. Herbicidal Weed Control Methods for Pasture and Natural Areas of Hawaii. Cooperative Extension Service, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai‘i. CTAHR free publication WC-8.

Smith, Clifford W. 1985. Impact of Alien Plants on Hawai‘i's Native Biota. In: Stone, Charles P. and Scott, J. Michael, eds. Hawai‘i's terrestrial ecosystems: preservation and Management. Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. 2006. New plant records from the Hawaiian Archipelago. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucias G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2004-2005. Part 1: Articles. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 87:31-43.

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

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1988. Flora of New Zealand, Volume IV: Naturalised pteridophytes, gymnosperms, dicotyledons. Botany Division, DSIR, Christchurch. 1365 pp.

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 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 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 20 MAR 2012.