Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Gomphocarpus physocarpus
E. Mey., Apocynaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 6 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia))
High risk, score: 8 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))

Other Latin names:  Asclepias physocarpa (E. Mey.) Schlechter

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: dun ding tou guo

English: balloon cottonbush, balloon plant, bladderbush, cottonbush, narrow-leaf cottonbush, swanplant, wild cotton

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Sparingly branched perennial herbs 1-2 m tall, becoming somewhat woody at base, glabrate or puberulent. Leaves opposite, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, (3.5-) 5-12 (-13) cm long, 0.3-2 cm wide, petioles 0.1-1 cm long. Flowers in axillary umbellate cymes, pedicels 1-2 cm long; corolla white, the lobes ovate, 8-10 mm long, reflexed, ciliate; corona white, the segments erect, strongly compressed laterally, without an internal horn. Follicles ovoid, strongly inflated, 4-7 cm long, 2.5-5 cm in diameter, covered with long soft bristles" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 240).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, naturalized in low elevation, dry habitats, occasionally up to 1,830 m (Wagner et al, 1999; p. 240). In New Caledonia, "d'introduction apparemment récente, cette plante se dissémine très vite" (MacKee, 1994; p. 20).

Propagation:  "Seeds readily spread by wind"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Native range:  Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland; naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

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. 7)
"Fairly common as a weed of neglected pasture, roadsides etc." Vouchers cited: W.R. Sykes NI 544 (CHR), P.S. Green 1494 (A), W.R. Sykes NI 629 (CHR), R.M. Laing s.n. (CHR), J.D. McComish 58/A (K)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island cultivated
Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Cultivated and a rare adventive.
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Cultivated and a rare adventive.
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1990) (voucher ID: BISH 665085)
Taxon name on voucher: Gomphocarpus physocarpus
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Fatu Hiva Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1987) (voucher ID: BISH 558140)
Taxon name on voucher: Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1988) (voucher ID: BISH 1000315)
Taxon name on voucher: Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr.
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Huka (Huahuna, Uahuka) Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Niau Atoll introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 10115 (PAP). "Ornementale rare".
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Niau Atoll   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1990) (voucher ID: BISH 633769)
Taxon name on voucher: Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 240)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaho‘olawe Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 240)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 240)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 240)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 240)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 20)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H80507 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 240)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 100)
"Potential invader".
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands introduced
Gargominy, Oliver/Bouchet, Philipe/Pascal, Michel/Jaffre, Tanguy/Tourneu, Jean-Christophe (1996) (p. 379)
Se dissémine très vite.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 20)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 38327, Létocart in MacKee 38723, Cherrier in MacKee 40708
Spontané
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)
Australia (continental) introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
South Australia
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Common in waste places and on river banks.
Naturalised
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Queensland Herbarium (2002) (p. 4)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
El Salvador (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Honduras (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Panama (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Hong Kong
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 215)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
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)
Rodrigues Island introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized

Control: 

Physical: "Goats will control balloon plant (An Peishel)" (Motooka et al., 2003).

Chemical: Mature plants tolerant to herbicides. Higher, unstated rates of metsulfuron reported effective (A. Teshima, DuPont). May require crop oil carrier with ester formulation dicot killer (Motooka et al., 2003).


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 5 MAY 2013.