Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Phyllanthus debilis
Klein ex Willd., Phyllanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: maigo-lalo

English: niruri

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Monoecious, erect annual herbs 0.1-0.8 m tall; stems often branching with age, branching phyllanthoid, the branches 4-10 (-12) cm long, usually with 15-35 leaves.  Leaves narrowly elliptic, (6-) 8-21 mm long, 2.5-5 mm wide, petioles 0.3-1 mm long, stipules lanceolate, 0.9-1.2 mm long.  Staminate flowers 3-4 in racemose cymes arising in the first 2-4 nodes of the branches, pedicels less than 0.5 mm long, calyx 6-lobed, 0.5-0.6 mm long, nectary disk 6-lobed, stamens 3, filaments connate; pistillate flowers solitary in the nodes above staminate flowers, pedicels becoming 1.1-1.6 mm long, calyx lobes 6, (1-) 1.2-1.5 mm long, margins whitish and scarious, nectary disk shallowly 6-lobed, styles distinct, bifid.  Capsules depressed-globose, ca. 2-2.2 mm in diameter, the surface smooth, explosively dehiscent.  Seeds pale yellowish brown, angled, ca. 1-1.1 mm long, with 6-7 longitudinal ribs and fine transverse striations on back"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 627).

Habitat/ecology:  In Hawai‘i, "naturalized in low elevation, disturbed areas such as yards and other urban sites, also in open areas such as lava fields" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 627).  In Fiji, "occurring from near sea level to about 450 m as a naturalized weed near habitations" (Smith, 1981; pp. 465-466).  "Occasional in disturbed places" (Whistler, 1988; p. 19).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Probably native to southern India and Sri Lanka" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 627).

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. 43)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 43)
Cook Islands
Cook Islands
Cook Islands   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Chuuk Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 95)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Weno (Moen) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 22)
Naturalized
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
invasive
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (pp. 121-122)
Voucher cited: C.Y.C. Wong 49a (BISH)
Naturalized
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Fais Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Moala Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 465-466)
Voucher cited: Milne 124
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Ovalau Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 465-466)
Voucher cited: Horne 360
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 465-466)
Vouchers cited: Degener & Ordonez 13689, Gibbs 689, Greenwood 789, DA 7165
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 112)
Voucher cited: Florence 5372
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 123)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (pp. 386-387)
Presence not confirmed.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 627)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 627)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 12)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H40117 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 627)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 12)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H110142 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 627)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Ebon (Epoon) Atoll   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Mejit (Mãjej) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 143)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 19)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 186)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 69)
Naturalised
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 24)
"Common in weedy places". Voucher cited: Fosberg 36856 (US)

Comments:  Similar to P. amarus.

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

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

Taxonomic information about Phyllanthus debilis 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.

Florence, J. 1997. Flore de la Polynésie française, Vol. 1. Paris. Editions de l'Orstom, Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération, Collection Faune et Flore Tropicales 34. 393 pp.

Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP). (online resource).

Fosberg, F. R. 1957. The Maldive Islands, Indian Ocean. Atoll Research Bulletin No. 58. Pacific Science Board, National Academy of Sciences, Washington. 37 pp.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce. 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica 15:1-295.

Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. 2010. Checklist of the vascular plants of Pohnpei with local names and uses. Allertonia, in press. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Hawai‘i. 146 pp.

Kato, Hidetoshi. 2007. Herbarium records of Makino Herbarium, Tokyo Metropolitan University. Personal communication.

Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy. 2010. Checklist of the plants of Kosrae. Unpublished checklist. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Hawai‘i. 26 pp.

McCormack, Gerald. 2013. Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga.

Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro. 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research 8(2)/2004: 171-191.

Oppenheimer, Hank L. 2003. New plant records from Maui and Hawai‘i Counties. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucius G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2001-2002. Part 1: Articles. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. 73:3-30.

Raulerson, L. 2006. Checklist of Plants of the Mariana Islands. University of Guam Herbarium Contribution 37:1-69. .

Smith, Albert C. 1981. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 2. 810 pp.

St. John, Harold. 1988. Census of the Flora of the Gambier Islands, Polynesia. Pacific Plant Studies 43. Honolulu, Hawaii. 34 pp. [Privately published].

Stone, Benjamin C. 1970. The flora of Guam. Micronesica 6:1-659.

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

Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. 2013. Flora of Micronesia. National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. Online database.

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).

Welsh, S. L. 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. E.P.S. Inc., Orem, Utah. 420 pp.

Whistler, W. A. 1988. Checklist of the weed flora of western Polynesia. Technical Paper No. 194, South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 69 pp.


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This page was created on 26 JUL 2002 and was last updated on 21 OCT 2006.