Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Mitracarpus hirtus
(L.) DC., Rubiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Mitracarpus villosus (Sw.) Cham. & Schltdl. ex DC.; Spermacoce hirta L.; Spermacoce villosa Sw.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: gai lie guo

English: small squareweed, tropical girdlepod

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Annual herbs; stems erect or spreading, 2-4 dm long, branched or unbranched, pubescent with sort, curly hairs and appressed hairs, also usually villous on the angles, outer epidermis exfoliating.  Leaves elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 2-6 cm long, 0.5-1.5 (-2) cm wide, upper surface scabrid to glabrate, lower surface glabrous except puberulent along veins and usually scabrid near margins, apex acute, base cuneate, subsessile, stipules 1-3 mm long, with 6-9 (-15) setae 1-5 mm long, their margins ciliate, often tipped with colleters.  Flowers sessile or nearly so, in dense axillary clusters, stipule-derived bracteoles filamentous, 1-2 mm long; hypanthium 1-1.4 mm long; calyx lobes 4, 2 of them oblong-lanceolate, with hyaline margins, 1.3-2.3 (-3) mm long, the other 2 deltate-lanceolate, 0.5-1.5 mm long, pubescent in lower part and ciliate; corolla white, 2-3 mm long.  Capsules subglobose, ca. 1 mm long.  Seeds pale yellowish brown, ellipsoid-rectangular, compressed, 0.8-0.9 mm long, the dorsal face resembling a rectangle with a square portion removed from each corner, ventrally separated into 4 discrete areas by 4 impressed lines arising at the hilum"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1156).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "an occasional weed near sea level along roadsides, in pasture plots, and along beaches"  (Smith, 1988; pp. 375-376).  In Hawai‘i, "recently naturalized in disturbed mesic sites" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1156).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Neotropics (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1156). Exact native range obscure; widely 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
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 65)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 65)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1988) (pp. 375-376)
Vouchers cited: DA 10111, 11596, DA 15360
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 551)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 271)
As Mitracarpum hirtum.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1156)
Voucher cited: Wagner & Stemmermann 4631 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2003) (p. 31)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 010726-2 (BISH)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. Field notes.)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H./Oliver, R. L. (1993) (p. 90)
Vouchers cited: Timberlake 3047 (US), Raulerson 5878 (US), Raulerson 5693 (US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 64)
Voucher: Lorence 9930 (PTBG, BNM)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 223)
Taxon name on voucher: Mitracarpus hirtus (L.) DC.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1998) (voucher ID: PTBG 28069)
Taxon name on voucher: Mitracarpus hirtus (L.) DC.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
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)
El Salvador (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Honduras (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
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
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Wastelands at highway sides; near sea level to 800 m. Hainan (Wanning), Hong Kong, Yunnan, Xinjiang.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 61)
Naturalised
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
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) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Georgia, Lousiana, Mississippi, Texas
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 4 JAN 2003 and was last updated on 15 AUG 2013.