Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Alternanthera caracasana
H.B.K., Amaranthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Alternanthera peploides (Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.) Urb.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: ci hua lian zi cao

English: mat chaff flower

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Perennial herbs; stems prostrate, sometimes rooting at the nodes, 1-5 dm long, moderately to densely pilose, the hairs multicellular.  Leaves oblanceolate to obovate or suborbicular, (0.8-) 1.5-2 (-3) cm long, 0.5-1.2 cm wide, sparsely pilose, petioles 0.3-1.5 cm long, moderately pilose.  Flowers in sessile, densely pubescent spikes, bract 3-4 mm long, tipped with a spine ca. 0.5-0.7 mm long, bracteoles ca. 3 mm long, acuminate, bract and bracteoles densely pilose at least below; sepals unequal, the 2 abaxial ones 3.5-4.2 mm long, spine-tipped, the spine less than 1 mm long, other sepals spineless, the adaxial one ca. 3 mm long, the 2 inner ones 2-2.5 mm long, all sepals pilose, the adaxial one only at base; stamens 5, all fertile.  Utricles 1-1.5 mm long, enclosed by the sepals"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 183).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in dry areas, roadsides, lawns, and beach parks" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 183). In New Caledonia, "bords de route, peu commun" (MacKee, 1994; p. 11).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Native to Africa, the Canary Islands, and the Western Hemisphere" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 183).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 183)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 183)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 183)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 183)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 183)
Voucher cited: Degener 8670 (BISH)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 11)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 26494, MacKee 46094
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
As Alternanthera pungens, misapplied. Roadsides. Fujian, Sichuan.
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. 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
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)


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

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This page was created on 27 JUN 2004 and was last updated on 12 OCT 2006.