Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Alocasia cucullata
(Lour.) G.Don, Araceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 9 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Arum cucullatum Lour.; Caladium cucullatum (Lour.) Pers.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: jian wei yu

English: Buddha's hand, Chinese ape, Chinese taro

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Herbs, clumping, small to medium sized, somewhat robust, to 1 m, evergreen. Stems erect, hypogeal, basally much branched. Leaves many together; petiole weakly D-shaped in cross section, 25-30 (-80) cm, sheath reaching to ca. 1/2 way, margins membranous; leaf blade broadly ovate-cordate, 10-40 x 7-28 cm, base shallowly cordate, apex acute; primary veins 4 on each side, radiating from petiole, arching, interprimary veins not forming a collective vein. Inflorescences rarely produced, usually solitary, sometimes paired, among leaf bases, subtended by membranous cataphylls; peduncle 20-30 cm. Spathe green, 9-15 cm; proximal spathe 4-8 x ca. 2.5 cm; limb narrowly cymbiform, 5-10 x 3-5 cm. Spadix 8-14 cm; female zone cylindric, 1.5-2.5 cm x ca. 7 mm; sterile zone 2-3 cm x ca. 3 mm; male zone yellow, ca. 3.4 cm x 8 mm; appendix yellowish, narrowly conic, ca. 3.5 cm x 5 mm. Fruit rarely produced, a subglobose berry, 6-8 mm in diameter, ripening red"  (Flora of China online).

"Herb with erect stem 3-6 cm thick; petiole 20-85 cm long, with persistent sheath; leaf blade 8-30 x 6-35 cm, the posterior lobes fused; peduncle 25-30 cm long; spathe about 12 cm long, bluish green, the lower part persistent, the upper part arching forward, withering with age; spadix about 10 cm long, pistillate for 1.5-2.5 cm, the sterile interstice 2.5-3 cm, the staminate part 2.5-3.5 cm, bluish green, the appendix 2.5-3.5 cm, greenish, corrugated" (Smith, 1979; pp. 454-455).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, naturalized in the shady understory of forests (Staples et al., 2003; p. 8).

Propagation:  "Chinese taro suckers freely and can spread vegetatively in that manner. Even small pieces of stem, root, or rhizome in the soil are enough to give rise to new plants and the species appears to reach new localities through movement of soil by humans" (Staples et al., 2003; p. 8). The species may also occasionally spread by seed.

Native range:  Perhaps from China, known only from cultivation (Smith, 1979; pp. 454-455). China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar; naturalized throughout southeast Asia (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 16)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Sparingly naturalized.
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 6)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 34)
Naturalized
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (pp. 454-455)
Voucher cited: DA 16955
Sparingly escaped.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
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
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 16)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2003) (p. 8)
Voucher cited: C. Imada 2001-20 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2003) (p. 8)
East Maui. Voucher cited: R. Hobdy 2490 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 18)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H80502 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Imada, Clyde (2007) (p. 35)
Voucher cited: G. Staples 1223 (BISH)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 103)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 25)
"Planted ornamental and potted plant".
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Mili (Mile) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy/Vander Velde, Brian (2010) (p. A4)
Rare; single potted plant, private garden, Mili Island.
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 17)
Voucher cited: MacKee 22372
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
Raulerson, L./Rinehart, A. F./Falanruw, M. C. (1996) (p. 15)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 89)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Watersides, by fields, ?wild or cultivated; below 2000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 297)
In farmland, on wet places along streams or cultivated.
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
cultivated
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. 12)
Cultivated only
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) introduced
cultivated
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 4 SEP 2005 and was last updated on 20 FEB 2013.