Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Castilla elastica
Sesse, Moraceae
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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:  Castilloa elastica Cerv.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: castilloa-rubber, Central American rubbertree, Mexican rubber tree, Panama rubber tree, uletree

Samoan: pulu mamoe, pulu mamoe

Spanish: árbol del ule, caucho, caucho negro, hule, ule

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Trees 5-10 m tall, the young branches densely hirsute with spreading (less frequently appressed) golden hairs, eventually glabrate.  Leaves oblong-obovate, more or less cordate and usually not strongly inequilateral at the base, subcuspidate-acuminate at the tip, 20-30 cm long, 10-14 cm broad, membranaceous, minutely and closely ciliate-dentate, both surfaces golden spreading-hirsute but particularly beneath, the petioles about 1 cm long; stipules 3-6 cm long.  Inflorescences in clusters of 2-4 in catenate series of the upper leaf-axils, occasionally solitary.  Staminate heads conduplicate-reniform, about 1.5 cm long and 2 cm broad, the peduncle about 1 cm long.  Fruiting heads thickly discoid, 4-5 cm in diameter, about 1.5 cm thick, sesile or subsessile, the component flowers half or more coherent, developing an orange or reddish pulp at maturity."  (Woodson and Schery, 1960; p. 180).

"A... tree ...reaching a height of 45 to 150 feet, noted for its abundant milky sap, which yields the Panama rubber of commerce.  It has spreading or drooping branches, the young ones woolly-hairy.  The leaves are coarse, densely hairy on both sides, short-stemmed, arranged in two rows, the blade oblong, broadest in the upper half, 8 to 18 by 3 to 6 inches, base heart-shaped, tip pointed, with about 18 pairs of prominent veins.  Inconspicuous female flowers in short-stemmed heads at leaf axils develop into fruit about 1.5 inches in diameter, consisting of a cluster of many red individuals about 0.75 inch long, with more or less sweet, edible pulp."  (Neal, 1965)

Habitat/ecology:  Moist forests at low elevations (Woodson and Schery, 1960; p. 180). In its native habitat, will become established in undisturbed rainforest, thus posing a threat to intact native forests.

Propagation:  Seeds spread by birds (Swarbrick, 1997; p. 24).

Native range:  Southern Mexico and Central America to Colombia and perhaps southward.

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
Ta‘u Island   Togia, Tavita (year unknown)
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1984) (p. 103)
"A small population at Fusi".
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1993) (voucher ID: PTBG 43385)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (pp. 4, 12)
Voucher: Flynn 6550 (PTBG)
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1999) (voucher ID: PTBG 295)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 147-148)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 8378 (PAP)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 185)
Voucher cited: Florence 5029
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 147-148)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 5029 (PAP), J. Florence 11853 (PAP)
Naturalisée, menace pour la biodiversité.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1967) (voucher ID: BISH 22299)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1983) (voucher ID: BISH 574260)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 607299)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1993) (voucher ID: BISH 667932)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 185)
Voucher cited: Moore 726
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 147-148)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 147-148)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands   Neal, Marie C. (1965)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Potentiellement envahissant.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 5)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 5)
Voucher: Flynn 6934 (PTBG, SAMOA)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1968) (voucher ID: BISH 28828)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1929) (voucher ID: BISH 161309)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1979) (voucher ID: BISH 439270)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 329)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Malakula (Malekula) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1971) (voucher ID: BISH 406163)
Taxon name on voucher: Castilla elastica Sesse
Vanuatu
New Hebrides Islands
Vanuatu (Republic of) introduced
Whistler, W. A. (1984) (p. 103)
"Reported from Vanuatu".
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 introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 99)
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)
El Salvador (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)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Panama (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 24)
Casual
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (pp. 24, 108)
From remnants from plantations.
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
invasive
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Foresterie.
naturalisée

Comments:  Naturalized on the western end of Tutuila, American Samoa, near Maloata (also reported to be found near ‘Ili‘ili) (Space & Flynn, 2000). Very invasive and widespread on both Upolu and Savai‘i, Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2002).

Control: 

Chemical: "Pending the results of field trials seedlings and young trees should be basal bark sprayed with 10% Garlon 600 in diesel oil" (Swarbrick, 1997; p. 24).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 14 DEC 2012.