Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Falcataria moluccana
(Miq.) Barneby & J.W.Grimes, Fabaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

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

Other Latin names:  Adenanthera falcataria L.; Albizia falcataria (L.) Fosb.; Albizia moluccana Miq.; Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I. Nielsen

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: nan yang ying

English: batai, bataiwood, kerosene plant, Molucca albizia, Moluccan albizia, Moluccan sau, peacock's plume, white monkeypod

French: albizia, falcata

Kwara‘ae: fai, folo fai

Maori (Cook Islands): ‘ārapitia

Palauan: ukall ra ngebard

Pohnpeian: tuhke karisihn, tuhke kerosin

Samoan: tamaligi, tamaligi, tamalini, tamalini

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Trees up to 40 m tall, bark white, gray or greenish, smooth or slightly warty, young parts densely reddish brown tomentose or puberulent.  Leaves with a large nectary below the lowermost pair of pinnae and smaller ones between or below most pairs of pinnae, pinnae (4-) 8-15 pairs, leaflets 15-25 pairs per pinna, obliquely elliptic, falcate, 10-20 mm long, 3-6 mm wide, midrib strongly excentric near 1 of the margins.  Flowers in panicles ca 20 cm in diameter, often with 2 serial branches from 1 bract scar; calyx 1-1.5 mm long, silky pubescent, the teeth 0.5 mm long; corolla cream or greenish yellow, 3-4.5 mm long (excl. stamens); stamens 10-17 mm long.  Pods 9-12 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm wide, densely pubescent or glabrous, with a narrow, longitudinal wing along the upper suture.  Seeds transversely arranged, ellipsoid, 5-7 mm long, 2.5-3.5 mm wide, laterally flattened, with a pleurogram ca 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 690).

"Grand arbre pouvant atteindre 40 m de hauteur et 2 m de diamètre à la base, reconnaissable à son tronc massif à écorce gris-clair lisse, à son port tabulaire, ses inflorescences composées de petites fleurs blanchâtres à jaunâtres et ses gousses pendantes et plates" (Meyer, 2008; p. 32).

Habitat/ecology:  "This elegant, deciduous tree with wide-spreading branches is used as a shade plant for coffee in many parts of the world. It grows very rapidly even on nutrient-poor soils. It grows from sea level to 1,500 m elevation but is most common in mesic, lowland areas.  It is often used in ornamental and forestry plantings" (C. W. Smith, 1985; p. 184).  "High, broad canopy shades out other plants.  A nitrogen fixer, it may stimulate growth of non-natives better able to respond to increased soil nitrogen"  (Motooka et al., 2003).  In Fiji, "cultivated and perhaps sparingly naturalized from near sea level to an elevation of 250 m"  (A. C. Smith, 1985; p. 77).  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in disturbed mesic to wet areas, 25-600 m"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 690). In New Caledonia, "arbre de croissance rapide atteignant des dimensions considérables et devenant parfois envahissant" (MacKee, 1994; p. 77).

Propagation:  It is not known how the large seeds are dispersed, although man was initially the principal disseminator.

Native range:  Moluccas, New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomon Islands, widely planted for reforestation (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 690).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 6)
Chile (offshore islands)
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island
Rapa Nui (Easter) Island (Isla de Pasqua) introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2008) (pp. 31-32, 42)
"Nous avons observé une seule population d’une demi-douzaine de grands arbres à Mataveri en bordure de la route menant à Orongo, avec de nombreuses gousses au sol. La régénération semble faible avec quelques rares plants juvéniles de 2 m de hauteur" (Meyer, 2008; p. 32).
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Aitutaki Atoll introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Voucher: Flynn 7074 (PTBG, BISH, US)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2002) (voucher ID: PTBG 381)
Taxon name on voucher: Falcataria moluccana
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 89)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Weno (Moen) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Mazawa, Thomas R. (2000) (pp. 5-6)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Waguk, Erick E. (2000) (p. 5)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (p. 5)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 93)
Voucher cited: F.R. Fosberg 58470 (BISH, PTBG)
Naturalized
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1978) (voucher ID: BISH 659656)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1978) (voucher ID: PTBG 23970)
Taxon name on voucher: Falcataria moluccana
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (p. Field notes.)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Taveuni Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 77)
As Albizia falcataria. Voucher cited: DA L.14328
Perhaps sparingly naturalized.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 77)
As Albizia falcataria. Vouchers cited: DA L14329, DF 373, Damanu 60, DA12352
Perhaps sparingly naturalized.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence , D.H. Lorence & W.L. Wagner 9501 (PAP)
Planté, se naturalise. Menace pour la biodiversité.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1988) (voucher ID: BISH 601901)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1988) (voucher ID: BISH 1000421)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2004) (voucher ID: PTBG 42207)
Taxon name on voucher: Falcataria moluccana (Miq.) Barneby & J. W. Grimes
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Huahine Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 47)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 33)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg 64825 (US), Fosberg 64919 (US), Gillette 3 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 138)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 61013
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 138)
Vouchers cited: BRY 26451, BRY 26499
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
"Planté en bord de route, se naturalise". Voucher cited: J. Florence 10361 (PAP)
Naturalisée, Menace pour la biodiversité.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1990) (voucher ID: BISH 642330)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 138)
Voucher cited: Florence 2449
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2449 (PAP)
Naturalisée. Menace pour la biodiversité.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 493038)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 493039)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 5542 (PAP)
Planté, se naturalise. Menace pour la biodiversité.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1983) (voucher ID: BISH 553337)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 95)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 33)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 690, 1878)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 690, 1878)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (pp. 23-24)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer & K.R. Wood H80622 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, Randal T. (2002) (p. 8)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H50003 (BISH)
Spreading from a single tree.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2003) (p. 27)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 000526-1 (BISH)
Escaping from plantations into nearby pastures and gulches.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 690, 1878)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 690, 1878)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
invasive
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 381)
Arbre de croissance rapide atteignant des dimensions considérables et devenant parfois envahissant.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1967) (voucher ID: BISH 664578)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1966) (voucher ID: BISH 664579)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 77)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 12365, MacKee 14166, MacKee 16014, MacKee 17981, MacKee 18073, Benoit in MacKee 18491, MacKee 41069
Spontané
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1967) (voucher ID: BISH 664577)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 121)
Voucher cited: CHR 168728
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 5)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 11)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 85)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 11)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1981) (voucher ID: BNM 3112)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria (L.) Fosb.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 91)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 9, 80)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 11)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago uncertain if native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (pp. 207, 209)
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island native
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island   Foreman, D. B. (1971) (pp. 44-45)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
Whistler, W. A. (1984) (p. 7)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1931) (voucher ID: BISH 152824)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1993) (voucher ID: PTBG 41748)
Taxon name on voucher: Paraserianthes falcataria (L.) I.Nielsen
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1974) (voucher ID: BISH 418200)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1974) (voucher ID: BISH 418207)
Taxon name on voucher: Albizia falcataria
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 44)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 8)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 8)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2007) (pp. 10, 35)
Localement naturalisé en bordure de pinède et s'installe dans la lande à fougère Dicranopteris.  Il peut être considéré en phase d'expansion dans les zones ouvertes et pourrait coloniser les landes et savanes é à fougère Dicranopteris.
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis (‘Uvea) Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves/Jourdan, Hervé/Malau, Atoloto (2008) (p. 9)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis and Futuna Islands introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 107)
"Potential invader".
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 132)
Oranamental.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Moluccas
Indonesia
Indonesia
West Papua Province (Indonesia) (western New Guinea Island) (formerly Irian Jaya) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Pallawatta, Nirmalie/Reaser, Jamie K./Gutierrez, Alixis T./eds. (2003) (p. 89)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 41)
Naturalised
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
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Frégate Island   Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. (1983) (p. 51)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
invasive
Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. (2001) (p. 182)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Seychelles Islands introduced
ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre (2013)

Comments:  Doesn't seem to spread rapidly, but it has the ability to spread extensively through native forest ecosystems over time.

A problem plant in Hawai‘i.

Extensively naturalized on Tutuila, American Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2000). Widespread on Rarotonga, Aitutaki, ‘Atiu, Mangaia and Ma‘uke, Cook Islands (Space & Flynn, 2002).

Planted in Micronesia. Some naturalization noted on Yap, Pohnpei and Palau, a few trees on Kosrae (Space & Falanruw, 1999).

It forms some fairly large stands on Tahiti.

Scattered trees present on Niue (Space & Flynn, 2000).

Single specimen noted on Vava‘u; plantation trees on ‘Eua, Tonga (Space & Flynn, 2001).

Control:  "La lutte manuelle par arrachage des plantules et des jeunes plants associée à une lutte chimique par injection d’un herbicide (triclopyr et/ou dicamba) dans le tronc des arbres ou par pulvérisation sur le tronc après écorçage sont réalisables" (Meyer, 2008; p. 32).

Physical:  "Reportedly susceptible to being killed by root damage by heavy equipment"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Chemical: "Very susceptible to hormone type herbicides. Severely injured by cut-surface application of 2,4-D and by glyphosate; killed by dicamba and triclopyr.  Susceptible to basal bark applications of triclopyr. HAVO staff report control with triclopyr amine at 10% product in water applied to cut stumps (Chris Zimmer, HAVO)" (Motooka et al., 2003).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 18 MAR 2012.