Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Dysphania ambrosioides
(L.) Mosyakin & Clemants, Chenopodiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Chenopodium ambrosioides L.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: alapasotes, apasotes

Chinese: tu jing jie

English: American wormseed, bluebush, Indian goosefoot, Jerusalem-tea, Mexican tea, Spanish-tea, wormseed

Fijian: wai ni ukuwomu

French: ambroisie du Mexique, botrice, chenopode ambroisine, herbe à puces

Japanese: ke-aritaso

Korean: naemsaemyeongaju

Spanish: apazote, aposote, epazote, hierba hormiguera, huacatay, paico, pazote, pichan, pichen

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Annual aromatic herb, to 50 cm tall; leaves oblong-lanceolate, short-petiolate, to 9 cm long, somewhat repand-dentate distally; flowers in dense small spikes in axils; perianth 3-lobed, enclosing the fruit; seed glossy."  (Stone, 1970)"Malodorous annual or perennial herbs; stems erect or ascending, 3-10 (-15) dm long, unbranched or paniculately branched, glandular-dotted with yellow glands, sometimes also glandular villous.  Leaves variable and usually dimorphic, always with numerous small, linear, lanceolate to oblanceolate or spatulate leaves usually 0.5-2 cm long, 0.2-0.6 cm wide, margins entire or sometimes sinuate-dentate, often also with scattered large, well-developed, lanceolate to ovate leaves 2-12 cm wide, margins sinuate-dentate to pinnatifid, all leaves copiously glandular-dotted, occasionally glands absent, also puberulent to short-villous.  Flowers usually in dense, terminal or axillary glomerules grouped in slender, elongate spikes, these naked or leafy, sometimes paniculate, or sometimes flowers solitary, subtended by small bracts; calyx ca. 1 mm long, completely enclosing the fruit at maturity, the lobes not keeled, glandular-dotted or sometimes glabrous or short-villous.  Seed dark brown, horizontal or vertical, 0.6-0.8 (-1.2) mm in diameter, margins obtuse"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 537).

Description from the Flora of China online.
Description from the Flora of North America online.

Habitat/ecology:  "It is frequently found in disturbed sites, wastelands, along roadsides and ditches, and in annual and perennial crops.  Plants occur from sea level to 1200 m on the Pacific islands of Hawaii and grow in annual precipitation ranges of 31 to 430 cm, in mean annual temperatures of 6.9 to 27.4° C and in soils with a pH of 5.0 to 8.7" (Holm et al., 1997; p. 174).

In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in dry, usually disturbed sites in pastures, on open lava flows, or along roadsides at higher elevations, rarely in sandy sites near beaches, (30-) 600-2,450 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 537).  In Fiji, "occurring from near sea level to about 750 m elevation as a naturalized weed in waste places, gardens, etc." (Smith, 1981; pp. 295-296). In New Caledonia, "espèce rudérale largement répandue sans être abondante; cultivée jadis et parfois employée à présent comme plante médicinale et pour éloigner la vermine du poulailler" (MacKee, 1994; p. 29).  In Papua New Guinea, "a weed of open places, along village tracks and river banks, on sandy or rocky soils, at 0-2000 m altitude"  (Henty, 1981; p. 21).  "In Chile this species grows in the following environmental conditions:  Low altitude, interior valleys; medium altitude up to the timber line.  Humid areas, with almost constant rainfall, short dry periods are possible (generally not longer than 1 month).  Fully exposed to the sun, level areas or slopes facing north"  (Chileflora).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Mexico, Central and South America and the West Indies (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 537).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 8)
"A weed of waste places, native to tropical America but now widespread in weedy habitats". Vouchers cited: W.R. Sykes NI 577 (CHR), W.R. Sykes NI 638 (CHR), J.D. McComish 170 (NSW), J.D. McComish 170A (NSW)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 552)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 217)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 552)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 295-296)
Vouchers cited: Tothill 667, H.B.R. Parham 498, DA 2918, DA 2919
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J. (2004) (p. 106)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 11082 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J. (2004) (p. 106)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11204 (PAP)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (pp. 265-266)
Rare in cultivation.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 67)
Rare in cult. per Stone, naturalized per Fosberg.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 537)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2002) (p. 7)
Voucher cited: C. Corn et al. ESP-386 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 537)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 537)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 537)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Îles Loyauté (Loyalty Islands) introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 29)
Vouchers cited: Schmid 999 (NOU), MacKee 28331
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Schmid 2193 (NOU)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Tiga introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 29)
Voucher cited MacKee 45860
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 89)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 379)
Rudérale, nombreuses localités
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 29)
Vouchers cited: Germain s.n. s.loc., Pennel 373, Cribs 796, MacKee 3596, Corbasson in MacKee 20257, MacKee 42521
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
invasive
Tassin, Jacques (2005)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 29)
Voucher cited: Baumann 13906
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) introduced
invasive
Henty, E. E., ed. (1981) (p. 21)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 125)
In the settled areas, cultivated and spontaneous; at medium and higher altitudes often very abundant.
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)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Belov, Michail (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Often cultivated for medicine in N China. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
Naturalized
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
invasive
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 76)
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)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 81-82)
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)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 182)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 524)
"Open waste places, roadsides, especially recently disturbed areas, also in sandy coastal areas behind beaches near settlements".
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)
Perú
Perú
Perú (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Naturalized
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 172)
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)
United States (other states) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  "Toxic when taken in quantity, and cases of human poisoning are recorded"  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 234).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 18 APR 2013.