Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Bischofia javanica
Blume, Phyllanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Andrachne trifoliata Roxb.; Bischofia trifoliata (Roxb.) Hook.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: qiu feng

English: bischofia, bishopwood, java-cedar, Javanese bishopweed, Javanese bishopwood, koka, needlebark

Fijian: koka, koka ndamu, tea, tongatonga, tongo, tongotongo

Kwara‘ae: oli oli

Maori (Cook Islands): koka, nato

Niuean: koka

Samoan: ‘o‘a, ‘o‘a, o‘a, ‘o‘a

Tagalog: toog

Tongan: koka

Wallisian: koka, koka

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A large glabrous tree up to 22 m tall, with a shady oval crown and a deep green foliage, turning red before falling.  The thick bark is dark grey to brown, smooth or rough.  Leaves are alternate, trifoliate with large and leathery, elliptic, and acuminate leaflets that are 10-15 cm long and 4-7 cm wide.  Leaves have a petiole of 7-20 cm length and toothed margins.  Flowers are greenish-yellow and c. 3 mm in diameter.  The fruit is a brown, orange, reddish or blue-black, globose drupe of 9-10 mm diameter with three indehiscent cells, each containing 1-2 seeds of c. 5 mm length and 3 mm width.  The tree is dioecious, and female trees produce large quantities of handing fruits"  (Weber, 2003; p. 70).

"Spreading trees 5-30 m tall, with colorless latex; branches terete.  Leaflets 3, ovate to oblong-ovate, 6-12 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, margins crenulate-serrulate, apex caudate cuspidate, base cuneate, petioles 8-16 cm long.  Staminate panicles 9-18 cm long, pistillate ones looser and less branched, sometimes reduced to racemes; sepals cream-colored to pale green or pale yellow.  Fruit pinkish to dull red and orangish brown, globose, 8-16 mm in diameter" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 601-602).

Habitat/ecology:  "Forests, tropical hammocks.  Native habitats of this tree are shady ravines in evergreen, mixed deciduous and swamp forests.  The tree is fast growing and suckers easily from roots.  In dry places, it grows as a stunted tree or shrub of 4-6 m height.  Where invasive, the tree establishes dense stands, casting dense shade and crowding out native trees, displacing them and altering the vegetation structure.  Seedlings establish well under shady forest canopies and grow rapidly into the canopy if a gap occurs.  Once established, the tree will become abundant throughout the understorey"  (Weber, 2003; p. 70).

In Hawai‘i, planted and naturalized (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 602). In Fiji (native), "found from near sea level to an elevation on 900 m in forest or on its edges, in thickets, or on grassy slopes" (Smith, 1881; p. 495).

Propagation:  Bird-dispersed seeds (Staples, Herbst & Imada, 2000; p. 21)

Native range:  "India, central China, and Malesia eastward into the Pacific, possibly as far east as Samoa, Tonga, and Niue" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 601).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ofu Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1980) (p. 159)
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ofu Island Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 46)
Abundant on all of the islands.
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ofu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 35338)
Taxon name on voucher: Bischofia javanica Blume
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1980) (p. 159)
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 46)
Abundant on all of the islands.
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 35372)
Taxon name on voucher: Bischofia javanica Blume
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 37081)
Taxon name on voucher: Bishofia javonica Blume
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1980) (p. 159)
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 46)
Abundant on all of the islands. Vouchers cited: Garber 613 (BISH), W. Harris 289 (BISH)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Aunu‘u Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1980) (p. 159)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1980) (p. 159)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   Setchell, William Albert (1924) (p. 78)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1965) (voucher ID: PTBG 16375)
Taxon name on voucher: Bischofia javanica
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2000) (voucher ID: PTBG 42739)
Taxon name on voucher: Bischofia javanica
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island native
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Koro Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Voucher cited: Smith 1058
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Lakemba Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Voucher cited: Garnock-Jones 861
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Ovalau Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Voucher cited: Horne 395
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Rambi Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Voucher cited: Horne s.n.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Taveuni Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Voucher cited: Gillespie 4670
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Vouchers cited: DF 994 (S1551/1), DA 12004
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island native
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 495)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 345, Degener 14990, Gillespie 4266, Tothill 750, DF 1001 (S1551/3), Degener 15218, DF 984 (Damanu 175), DF 1002 (S1551/4), Seemann 417, DA 14988, Parks 20260, Greenwood 345A, DA 10038, DA 53, MacDaniels 1044, DA L.13265 (Berry 26), Smith 7223
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island native
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 42)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island native
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 10383 (PAP)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island native
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 42)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 602)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 602)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
invasive
Toyoda, Takeshi (2003) (p. 282)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1983) (voucher ID: PTBG 31443)
Taxon name on voucher: Bischofia javanica
Niue
Niue
Niue Island native
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 86)
Voucher cited: CHR 169719
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Palau Islands (main island group) native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 133)
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island   Foreman, D. B. (1971) (p. 35)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (pp. 418-419)
Common in forests along streams at low and medium altitudes, ascending to 1,500 m.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Ha‘apai Islands native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
May be aboriginal introduction. Vouchers cited: Yuncker 15715, Yuncker 15856, Hotta 4170 (cf. 4171)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 161)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15715
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Nomuka Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 161)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15856
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
May be aboriginal introduction. Vouchers cited: Parks 16013, Parks 16057, Parks 16132, Hurlimann 134, Yuncker 15313, Sykes 135, Buelow 1805, Whistler 7453
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 161)
Vouchers cited: Yuncker 15313, Hülimann 164
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
May be aboriginal introduction. Vouchers cited: Moseley, Setchell & Parks 15206, Moseley, Setchell & Parks 15259, Moseley, Setchell & Parks 15352, Hurlimann 313, Hurlimann 677, Yuncker 15042, Hotta 4528, Sykes 7
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 161)
Vouchers cited: Yuncker 15042, Hülimann 313, Hülimann 677
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1989) (voucher ID: PTBG 3908)
Taxon name on voucher: Bischofia javanica
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Niuafo‘ou Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
May be aboriginal introduction. Voucher cited: Buelow 2014
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Niuatoputapu Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
May be aboriginal introduction. Voucher cited: Kirch 237
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Tafahi Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island native
Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 21)
May be aboriginal introduction. Vouchers cited: Harvey s.n., Crosby 160, Yuncker 16122, Buelow 915
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 161)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 16122
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of) native
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)
Queensland native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Evergreen forests, open valley woodlands, widely planted on stream banks, cultivated in gardens and along avenues; below 800 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 177)
In forests.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
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. 18)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Evergreen forests, open valley woodlands, widely planted on stream banks, cultivated in gardens and along avenues; below 800 m.
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
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
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Reported to be a major invasive in the Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands, Japan (Dr. Julie Denslow, pers. com.).

Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Hunsberger, 2001).

Control:  "Female trees should be removed first to prevent seed dispersal.  Seedlings may be hand pulled, older trees treated basally with a triclopyr herbicide mixed with an oil diluent"  (Weber, 2003; p. 70).


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

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This page was created on 24 JUL 2007 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.