Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Monochoria vaginalis
(N.L.Burm.) K.Presl, Pontederiaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Bikol: upi-upi

Bontoc: saksaklung

Cebuano: gabi-gabi

Chinese: ya she cao

English: cordate monochoria, monochoria, oval-leaf monochoria, oval-leaf pondweed, pickerel weed

Fijian: mbekambekairanga

Filipino: gabing-uak, kalaboa

Iloko: lapa-lapa

Japanese: kōnagi

Tagalog: biga-bigaan

Habit:  aquatic herb

Description: 

Genus: Glabrous palustrine herbs, with obliquely erect stems arising from a suberect or creeping rhizome, the leaves radical, long-petiolate; inflorescence racemiform or subumbelliform, the flowers deflexed after anthesis, the 3 inner tepals the broader; 5 stamens with small, yellow anthers, the sixth with a longer filament with a lateral tooth and a larger, blue anther; fruit a loculicidally dehiscent capsule." (Smith, 1979; pp. 174-175).

Species: "A smooth tufted, annual or perennial, aquatic herb with a very short rhizome; 10 to 50 cm tall, stemless; old plants often forming large clumps, but these are not connected; leaves 2 to 12.5 cm long, 0.5 to 10 cm wide, in very young plants without lamina; leaves of somewhat older plants with a floating linear or lanceolate blade; leaves of still older plants, ovate-oblong to broadly ovate, sharply acuminate, the base heart-shaped or rounded, shiny, deep green in color, with longitudinal veins; petioles soft, hollow, growing from buds at the base, leaf sheaths twisted together at the base, slightly reddish when young;; crown appears bulbous; inflorescence spikelike, basally opposite the sheath of the floral leaf, with a large bract arising from a thickened bundle on leaf stalk, about two-thirds of the way up the stalk from the base; flowers three to 25, opening simultaneously or in quick succession; on pedicels 4 to 25 mm long; perianth 11 to 15 mm long; petals six, violet or lilac blue, spreading at flowering, afterwards spirally contorted; stamens six, one with a lateral obliquely erect tooth; ovary with a long style; capsule about 1 cm, splitting between the partitions into three valves; seeds numerous, longitudinally ribbed.  The spikelike inflorescence which is opposite the floral leaf and the one stamen with a lateral oblique erect tooth are distinguishing characteristics.  The plant may be very variable and for that reason may be misidentified (Holm et al., 1977; p. 338).

"Stems usually inconspicuous, obliquely erect, roots usually pale purplish blue, spongy.  Leaves variable, blades linear to ovate, usually 5-10 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide, apex acuminate, base rounded or cordate, cauline leaves smaller. Flowers few to numerous in racemes 2-4 cm long, peduncles emerging from the sheath of the upper-most leaf, 2-10 mm long, pedicels 3-6 mm long; perianth lobes purplish blue, oblong, 8-12 mm long; stamens 6, 1 larger than others.  Capsules ellipsoid, ca. 1 cm long.  Seeds oblong, with 8-12 longitudinal ribs" (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1606, 1913).

Key to species:

M. vaginalis: "Rhizome short; leaf blades of adult plants emersed, ovate-oblong to broadly ovate, obtuse or rounded or truncate-cordate at base, 2-12.5 x 0.5-10 cm, the basal lobes if present broadly rounded; flowers 3-25, expanding simultaneously or essentially so; perianth 11-15 mm long."

M. hastata: "Rhizome well developed, branched; leaf blades of adult plants usually with a sagittate or hastate base, 7-25 x 5-20 cm, the basal lobes divergent; flowers 15-60, not expanding simultaneously; perianth 15-18 mm long"  (Smith, 1979; pp. 174-175).

 Illustration by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) courtesy Ecoport.

Habitat/ecology:  "An annual or pseudoannual in flooded ricefields, but may grow as a perennial in constantly flooded areas.  It can be found from 0 to 1,500 m altitude in Indonesia.  The plant roots in mud and its upper portions grow above the water" (Holm et al., 1977; p. 340).  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in taro paddies and slow-moving streams, 0-30 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1606).  "In Fiji this species occurs as an adventive, as well as an ornamental, near sea level, although elsewhere it is found up to 1,500 m or higher.  It is often locally abundant in stagnant backwaters or rivers, in open drains, rice fields, swampy places, ditches, and wet pastures" (Smith, 1979; pp. 174-175).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Malesia, Okinawa, Japan and Taiwan (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1606).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Ovalau Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (pp. 174-175)
Voucher cited: Smith 7669
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (pp. 174-175)
Vouchers cited: Vaughan 3163, Vaughan 3369, DA 10106, DA 9496, DA 10016, DA 9599, DA 10966, DA 10569, DA 10589, DA 10613, DA 6086
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R. (1995) (p. 23)
Voucher cited: Stemmermann & Luce 7174 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1606)
Voucher cited: Suehiro s. n. (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2011) (p. 9)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer & Perlman H100903 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1606)
Voucher cited: Suehiro s. n. (BISH)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Merrill, Elmer D. (1925) (pp. 200-201)
At low and medium altitudes; common in open wet places, rice paddies, swamps, etc.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 94)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 92)
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)   Hafliger, E. (1092) (p. 99)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 356)
In paddy field or wet places.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 341)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Negara Brunei Darussalam
Brunei
Brunei (Negara Brunei Darussalam)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) uncertain if introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 61)
Weed of uncertain origin
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island   Li-ying, Li/Ren, Wang/Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 173)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)

Control: 

Biological:  Waterhouse (1994, pp. 167) lists natural enemies of the species.

Additional information:
Additional online information about Monochoria vaginalis is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Monochoria vaginalis as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Monochoria vaginalis may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Hafliger, E. 1092. Monocot Weeds 3. CIBA-GEIGY Ltd., Basle, Switzerland. 132 pp. plus plates.

Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. 1988. Flora of the Solomon Islands. Research Bulletin No. 7. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Honiara. 203 pp.

Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. 1977. The world’s worst weeds: distribution and biology. East-West Center/University Press of Hawaii. 609 pp.

Li-ying, Li/Ren, Wang/Waterhouse, D. F. 1997. The distribution and importance of arthropod pests and weeds of agriculture and forestry plantations in southern China. ACIAR, Canberra, Australia. 185 pp.

Merrill, Elmer D. 1925. An enumeration of Philippine flowering plants, vol. 1 [reprint]. Bureau of Printing, Manila. 463 pp.

Oppenheimer, Hank. 2011. New Hawaiian plant records for 2009. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucius G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2009-2010. Part II: Plants. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 110:5-10.

Smith, Albert C. 1979. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 1. 494 pp.

Swarbrick, John T. 1997. Weeds of the Pacific Islands. Technical paper no. 209. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 124 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R. 1995. Contributions to the Flora of Hawai‘i. IV. New Records and name changes. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Miller, Scott, E., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 1994. Part 2: Notes. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 42:13-27.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Waterhouse, D. F. 1993. The major arthropod pests and weeds of agriculture in Southeast Asia. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. 141 pp.

Waterhouse, D. F. 1994. Biological control of weeds: Southeast Asian prospects. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. 302 pp.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 5 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 2 JUL 2008.