Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Crescentia cujete
L., Bignoniaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk, score: -8 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: calabash, calabash tree, gourd tree, hue tree

French: calebassier

Hawaiian: la‘amia

Maori (Cook Islands): kumete, ‘ue

Samoan: fagu, fagu

Spanish: botote, botote pilche, calabacero, calabasa, crescencia, guacal, mate, morro

Tahitian: hue tumu ra‘au

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Tree to 10 m tall and 30 cm diameter breast height, the branches usually crooked, the crown open; branchlets mostly lacking, smaller branches thick, subterete, with alternate short-shoot projections each bearing a fascicle of leaves from its center.  Leaves of various sizes within each fascicle, simple, obovate, the tip obtuse to acute, the base attenuate, petiole lacking, 3.4-26 cm long and 1.0-7.6 cm wide, chartaceous to rigid-chartaceous, secondary veins 5-14 on a side, the midvein raised above; lepidote above and beneath, otherwise glabrous above, beneath glabrous or pubescent along midvein with simple and forked trichomes, plate-shaped glands at base of blade beneath, drying grayish-olive.  Inflorescence one or two cauliflorous flowers borne on larger branches or trunk, the pedicels lipidote, 1.5 cm long.  Flowers with a musty odour, calyx bilabiately split to the base, each lobe 1.8-2.6 cm long and 1.3-2.4 cm wide, mostly glabrous with plate-shaped glands on the upper half of lobes, slightly lepidote at base; corolla off-white to yellowish with purplish venation on the lobes and purplish lines on the tube outside, tubular with a transverse fold midway across the lower side of the throat, fleshy, 4.1-7.4 cm long and 3.1-4.5 cm wide at mouth of the tube, the tube 2.8-4.5 cm long, the lobes triangular with the apex extended as a narrow point, 2.5-3.1 cm long, sparsely lepidote or stalked-lepidote on the tube outside and near the mouth of tube inside, more densely so at the level of stamen insertion, papillate-glandular on the lobes outside and sparsely so inside; stamens subexserted, the anther thecae thick, partially divergent, 5-8 mm long and 2.5-3.5 mm wide, the anterior filaments 2.8-3.2 cm long and inserted 6-11 mm from the base of the tube, the posterior filaments 2.8-3.3 cm long, inserted 7-15 mm from base of tube, the staminode 1-3 mm long, inserted 5-11 mm from base of tube; pistil 4.0-4.9 cm long, the ovary rounded conical, 5-7 mm long and 4-7 mm wide, 3-6 mm thick, lepidote, the ovules multi-seriate on 4 placentae; disc annular-pulvinate, 3-4 mm long and 8-11 wide.  Fruit a pepo or calabash, spherical to ovoid-ellipsoid, 13-20 cm in diameter, to 30 cm long, the thin hard shell smooth, lepidote-punctate; seeds small, thin, wingless, 7-8 mm long and 4-6 mm wide, scattered through the pulp of the fruit"  (Gentry, 1977; pp. 55-56).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "cultivated in gardens and locally naturalized in coconut plantations at elevations up to about 100 m" (Smith, 1991; pp. 142-143).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Native range obscure, probably northern Central America" (Gentry, 1977; pp. 55-56).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Española Group
Española Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 142-143)
Voucher cited: DA 17180
Naturalized
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1991) (pp. 142-143)
Vouchers cited: Greenwood 777, MacDaniels 1128
Naturalized
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 23)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 11105 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2003) (voucher ID: PTBG 41033)
Taxon name on voucher: Crescentia cujete
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 62)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 64932 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 49)
Vouchers cited: Moore 383, BRY 26108
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2383 (PAP)
Ornementale assez commune.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 62)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 22)
Vouchers cited: Barrau s.n., MacKee 11898, MacKee 22015
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 251)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 23)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1974) (voucher ID: BNM 10061)
Taxon name on voucher: Crescentia cujete L.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1966) (voucher ID: BNM 200)
Taxon name on voucher: Crescentia cujete L.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1966) (voucher ID: BNM 201)
Taxon name on voucher: Crescentia cujete L.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 447)
Occasionally cultivated for ornamental purposes.
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2007) (p. 31)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ecuador (Mainland)
Ecuador
Ecuador (Republic of) (continental) native
cultivated
Gentry, Alwyn H. (1977) (p. 56)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (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)
Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Panama
Panama
Panama (Republic 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. 29)
Cultivated only

Additional information:
Information from the USDA Tropical Tree Seed Manual (PDF format).

Additional online information about Crescentia cujete is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Crescentia cujete as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Crescentia cujete may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.). 1966. Voucher specimen #BNM200(Blackburn, B. E-86).

Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.). 1966. Voucher specimen #BNM201(Cheatham 90).

Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.). 1974. Voucher specimen #BNM10061(Otobed, D.O. P-10061).

Charles Darwin Foundation. 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos, Ecuador.

Charles Darwin Research Station. 2005. CDRS Herbarium records.

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP). (online resource).

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. 1987. Flora of Maupiti, Society Islands. The Smithsonian Institution. Atoll Research Bulletin 294:1-70.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce. 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica 15:1-295.

Gentry, Alwyn H. 1977. Bignoniaceae [178.]. Flora of Ecuador 7, 173 pp.

Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim. 2010. Checklist of the plants of Palau. Unpublished checklist. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Hawai‘i. 44 pp.

Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. 2013. Flora of the Marquesas Islands. National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. Online database.

MacKee, H. S. 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 164 p.

McCormack, Gerald. 2013. Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga.

Merrill, Elmer D. 1923. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants, vol. 3 [reprint]. Bureau of Printing, Manila. 628 pp.

Meyer, Jean-Yves. 2007. Rapport de mission sur l'Ile d'Uvea (Wallis & Futuna) du 6 au 17 Novembre 2007: Inventaire preliminaire de la flore vasculaire secondaire [unpublished report]. Délégation à la Recherche, Ministère de l'Education, l'Enseignement Supérieur et la Recherche, B.P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti, Polynésie française. 39 pp.

Raulerson, L. 2006. Checklist of Plants of the Mariana Islands. University of Guam Herbarium Contribution 37:1-69. .

Smith, Albert C. 1991. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 5. 626 pp.

St. John, Harold. 1988. Census of the Flora of the Gambier Islands, Polynesia. Pacific Plant Studies 43. Honolulu, Hawaii. 34 pp. [Privately published].

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Welsh, S. L. 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. E.P.S. Inc., Orem, Utah. 420 pp.

Whistler, W. A. 2000. Plants in Samoan culture: The ethnobotany of Samoa. Isle Botanica. 234 pp. ISB: 0-9645426-6-8.


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

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This page was created on 21 OCT 2004 and was last updated on 2 NOV 2011.