Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Asparagus setaceus
(Kunth) Jessop, Asparagaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 16 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Other Latin names:  Asparagopsis setacea Kunth; Protasparagus setaceus (Kunth) Oberm.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: wen zhu

English: asparagus fern, climbing asparagus fern, lacy asparagus fern

Samoan: lau lili‘i, lau lili‘i, lau nini‘i, lau nini‘i

Spanish: creston

Tongan: taupo‘ou

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Woody climber to ca 5 m. Roots fibrous. Cladodes numerous per axil, finely acicular, apiculate, 4-7 mm long, 0.5 mm wide; cladodes and lateral branches arranged in the same plane. Scale leaves spine-like but not indurated. Flowers single or paired, terminal on ultimate branches, ˝pendent, 5-7 mm diameter, greenish white; pedicels 1-2.5 mm long, articulated at base or just above. Sepals and petals 3-4 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide. Stamens 2.5-3.5 mm long; filaments 2-3 mm long; anthers 0.5 mm long, yellow. Ovary globose, 2 mm diameter; style 0.5-1 mm long, trifid. Berry 4-5 mm diameter, black. Seed 1, 2.5-3.5 mm diameter." (Clifford and Conran, 1987).

Recently published work revealed that Asparagus setaceus and Asparagus plumosus can be "distinguished by the arrangement of the cladodes: all in 1 plane (A. plumosus) or radiating in many planes (A. setaceus).  If this classification is followed, then the plant widespread in cultivation is to be called A. plumosus; the genuine A. setaceus (Kunth) Jessop is not in cultivation"  (Imada, Staples & Herbst, 2000; p. 13).  Therefore, see Asparagus plumosus for most Pacific listings.

Habitat/ecology:  Commonly planted as an ornamental or for use in flower arrangements. Naturalizes in dry to moist forest.

Propagation:  Seed. Fruits spread by birds. Older plants spread by means of long, slender rhizomes.

Native range:  Eastern and southern Africa; also cultivated (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
Pickard, J. (1984) (p. 204)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 100)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Palmerston (Avarau) Island   Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Rotuma Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 638023)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus setaceus (Kunth) Jessop
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
cultivated
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)
Naturalisée
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
Huahine Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 65)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 352)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg & Sachet 63224, Moore 577
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 3513 (PAP)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 65)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 352)
Voucher cited: Grant 4336
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9108 (PAP). "Naturalisé sur karst en forêt secondarisée à Tecoma-Pandanus"
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Takapoto Atoll introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M-H. (1983) (p. 16)
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
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 100)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 41)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 55)
Voucher cited: Hassall 169 (SUVA)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Tiga introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 93)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 45887 (cv. "Cupressoides")
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 93)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 18383, MacKee 41090 (cv. "Cupressoides"), MacKee (cv. "Pyramidalis")
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 10)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
‘Uiha Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 257)
Taxon name on voucher: Asparagus setaceus
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 79-80)
"Occasional to frequent throughout Tonga".
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) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Commonly cultivated and occasionally becoming naturalized.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 357)
Ornamental.
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Healy, A. J./Edgar, E. (1980) (p. 52)
"N. Auckland City, escapes from gardens to a limited extent; Bethlehem, near Tauranga, well established in farm hedges"; voucher cited: A. E. Esler (CHR 274362)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 16)
Cultivated only
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (p. 32)

Comments:  A serious weed on Lord Howe Island (Clifford and Conran, 1987)


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 1 MAR 2013.