Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Citharexylum caudatum
L., Verbenaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

English: fiddlewood, juniper berry

Spanish: pendula de sierra

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Large shrubs or small trees up to 20 m tall; branches nearly terete, glabrous.  Leaves somewhat leathery, oblong to obovate or elliptic-oblanceolate, 7-16 cm long, 3.5-5 cm wide, glabrous, upper surface glossy, lower surface dull, apex rounded or obtuse, base cuneate, petioles green, 1-2 cm long.  Flowers in narrow, elongate-recurved racemes 4-10 cm long, pedicels usually 2-5 mm long; calyx campanulate, ca. 3 mm long, the rim unlobed and truncate in fruit; corolla white.  Fruit purplish black, oblong-globose, ca. 5-8 mm long"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1317).

(See also Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 111.)

Habitat/ecology:  This evergreen shrub to small tree forms dense thickets in wet habitats. It has many characteristics in common with Citharexylum spinosum (Smith, 1985; p. 188).  In Hawai‘i, "cultivated and now naturalized and rapidly spreading via bird dispersal"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1317); displacing existing vegetation in mesic to humid lowland forests and other non-cropland"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

"A rapidly spreading species that forms dense thickets and crowds out native vegetation due to the dense canopies. Seedlings of native plants are unable to grow under stands of this species. Seeds are dispersed by birds and are able to germinate in low light conditions. The plant spreads also vegetatively as stems touching the ground become rooted." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 111)

Propagation:  "Prolific seeder, spread by birds"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

"Seeds are dispersed by birds and are able to germinate in low light conditions. The plant spreads also vegetatively as stems touching the ground become rooted." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 111)

Native range:  Mexico and Central America to northern South America and the West Indies (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1317).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 26)
Vouchers cited: Oppenheimer H70137 (BISH, PTBG), Starr & Martz 010801-2 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2004) (p. 28)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 020225-2 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Martz, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (1999) (p. 14)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 980402-49
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1317, 1895)
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)
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)
China
China
Hong Kong native
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 229)
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)

Comments:  Invasive in Hawaii. (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), pp. 111, 10)

Control:  "Specific control methods for this species are not available. Seedlings and small plants can be hand pulled. Larger stems are cut and the cut stumps treated with herbicide." (Invasive Plants of the World (Weber, 2003), p. 111)

Chemical:  2,4-D or triclopyr should be effective. (no source cited)


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 4 NOV 2017.