Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Cuphea hyssopifolia
Kunth, Lythraceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk (based on second screen), score: 5 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: cuphea, elphin herb, elphin plant, false heather, Hawaiian heather, Mexican heather

French: corail

Samoan: āoa, āoa

Spanish: romerito

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Erect to spreading subshrubs; stems 3-5 dm long, many-branched, puberulent and reddish strigose, the hairs sometimes spreading.  Leaves linear, sometimes the larger ones linear-elliptic, 10-30 mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide, 1-nerved, subsessile.  Flowers solitary in the leaf axils, pedicels 2-7 mm long; floral tube pale green, sometimes becoming purplish toward apex, 5-8 m long, glabrous or with a few stiff hairs; calyx teeth triangular; petals 6, pale purple (or white?), drying pale purple or violet, ca. 3-3.5 mm long; stamens included and inserted in 2 unequal whorls on the floral rube.  Capsules oblong-ovoid, 1-celled, ca. 3.5 mm long.  Seeds reddish brown, suborbicular, ca. 1-1.5 mm in diameter, pitted" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 866).

Habitat/ecology:  "A moderate amount of disturbance is required for false heather to establish and maintain itself. Mowing, animal and vehicular traffic, and light cultivation are typical enabling disturbances. A moist climate (above 1400 mm of annual precipitation) is required for natural stands. It does not tolerate frost or salt (Watkins and Sheehan 1975). Partial shade from trees and light competition from grass and weeds are tolerated, but tall grass and heavy weeds will eliminate it. In Hawaii, false heather is most abundant in moist and partially shaded places above 240 m elevation (Pope 1968). Clayey and medium textured soils with good drainage are best"  (Wildland shrubs of the United States and its territories).  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized primarily in mesic, open, disturbed sites and streambeds" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 866).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mexico, Central America, northern and western South America; also cultivated and naturalized (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 180)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 180)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
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)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 19)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 105)
Voucher cited: F. Sohl 82 (NY, PTBG)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 38743)
Taxon name on voucher: Cuphea hyssopifolia Cham. & Schltdl.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 284)
Voucher cited: DA 16791
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 2761 (PAP), J.Florence 4483 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
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
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 180)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 866)
Voucher cited: Faurie 846 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Imada, Clyde (2007) (p. 37)
East Maui. Vouchers cited: P. Welton 2093 (BISH), H. Oppenheimer H100523 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
Wester, Lyndon (1992) (p. 142)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2011) (p. 8)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H70912 (BISH, PTBG)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 101)
Cultivated.
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 103)
Planted ornamental.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 95)
Voucher cited: MacKee 26957
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Palau Islands (main island group) introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 32)
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)
Costa Rica (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Guatemala (Republic of) native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 866)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Honduras (Republic of) native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 866)
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
Francis, John K., ed. (2009)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 159)
Ornamental.
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 866)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 817)
"A minor escape from cultivation, coastal sites, open roadside shrubbery".
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 30)
Cultivated only
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (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
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé/naturalisé".


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This page was created on 13 MAY 2005 and was last updated on 17 MAR 2013.