Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Citharexylum spinosum
L., Verbenaceae
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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:  Citharexylum quadrangulare Jacq.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: fiddlewood, Florida fiddlewood, spiny fiddlewood

Fijian: masese

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A ...tree... reaching a height of as much as 50 feet, bears no spines, and has smooth, quadrangular twigs.  The rather thin, smooth, oval or oblong leaves are 8 inches or less long, coarse-toothed or entire, pointed at tip, narrowing at base to a short stem; they are opposite or three together.  Fragrant, white, tubular five-parted flowers, each about 0.3 inch long, are borne in narrow clusters, which are 4 to 12 inches long, branched below or not.  The fruit is a shiny, black, oblong drupe less than 0.5 inch long"  (Neal, 1965; pp. 725-726).

Habitat/ecology:  "This evergreen, medium-sized tree does not have the spines that its scientific name suggests. It forms crowded stands even in undisturbed habitats. Its fire response in Hawai‘i is unknown. It has not been evaluated for biological control.  Extensively planted as an ornamental.  It grows in dry habitats generally below 500 m" (Smith, 1985; p. 188). Planted as a street tree.  In Fiji, "cultivated and naturalized near sea level" (Smith, 1991; pp. 177-178).

Propagation:  Dispersed by frugivorous birds.

Native range:  Florida, the West Indies, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 177-178)
Vouchers cited: DA 7557, Wilder 1234, H.B.R. Parham 67 & 319, DA 12265, DA 12613
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1962) (voucher ID: BISH 33654)
Taxon name on voucher: Citharexylum spinosum L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1960) (voucher ID: BISH 33655)
Taxon name on voucher: Citharexylum spinosum L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1933) (voucher ID: BISH 186963)
Taxon name on voucher: Citharexylum spinosum L.
French Polynesia
French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader".
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Martz, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2002) (p. 26)
East Maui. Vouchers cited: Starr & Martz 980310-1 (BISH), Starr & Martz 980401-42 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2006) (p. 41)
Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 050516-1 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Herbarium Pacificum Staff (1998) (p. 13)
Voucher cited: C. Imada et al. 92-4
Spreading in dry habitats.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 138)
Vouchers cited: Suprin 1241 (NOU), MacKee 40191, MacKee 40241, MacKee 40309
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 26)
Cultivated only
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) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Biological: The lantana stem-sucking bug (Acanophora compressa), introduced to Australia as a control for Lantana camara also has attacked Citharexylum spinosum (Rachel McFadyen, communication to Aliens listserver).


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

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 12 MAR 2013.