Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Phyllanthus virgatus
G.Forst., Phyllanthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Phyllanthus simplex Retz.

Common name(s): [more details]

Austral: moemoe, poporo, rauna

Chinese: huang zhu zi cao

English: seed-under-leaf

Fijian: tei ni niu

Maori (Cook Islands): matakura, moemoe, moemoe ‘enua?

Niuean: kihikihi, kohuhu kula, mohemohe fiti kula

Tahitian: hora, moe-moe, moemoe, moemoe

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Slender, branched, glabrous suffruticose herb to 60 cm tall; leaves alternate, elliptic-oblong or sublinear, subsessile, prominently nervose, blunt at both ends, about 1-1.5 cm long and 2 mm wide; stipules peltate, sagittate; flowers pedicellate; male flowers on shorter (2 mm) pedicels, with oblong sepals and free stamens; female flowers on longer (4-7 mm) pedicels, often associated with 1 or 2 males; disc in male flowers glandular, in female flowers annular; styles free, short, recurved; capsules depressed-globose, about 3 mm wide, smooth or slightly rugose" (Stone, 1970; p. 388).

Habitat/ecology:  In Fiji, "occurring at elevations from near sea level to about 200 m as a weed of cultivated fields and waste places, sometimes sparingly naturalized in forest or on hillsides" (Smith, 1981; p. 464).  "An aboriginal weed, much less common now than it formerly was" (Whistler, 1988; p. 19). In New Caledonia, "P. virgatus se trouve assez communément dans les savanes ou dans les forêts ± dégradées, souvent en lisière de galeries forestières, à basse altitude, surtout dans les secteurs littoraux, mais parfois assez loin dans l'intérieur. Il peut croître sur des terrains variés, schisto-gréseux ou calcarifères, mais paraît tout à fait exceptionnel sur terrain ultrabasique" (Schmid, 1991; pp. 46-48).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Widely distributed in the Old World tropics and presumably indigenous in Asia or Malesia.  Its introduction throughout the southern Pacific was doubtless aboriginal and inadvertent" (Smith, 1981; p. 464). Fosberg et al. (1979; p. 144) list as native to Micronesia.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island   Whistler, W. A. (1990)
Voucher cited: Garber 1074
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Olosega Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 45)
Voucher cited: Garber 1074 (BISH)
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island   Whistler, W. A. (1990)
Vouchers cited: Garber 693, Yuncker 9133
American Samoa
Manu‘a Islands
Ta‘u Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1945) (p. 45)
Vouchers cited: Yuncker 9133 (BISH), Garber 693 (BISH)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 144)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kambara Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 464)
Voucher cited: Tothill 711
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Kandavu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 464)
Vouchers cited: DA 9642
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Taveuni Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 464)
Vouchers cited: Seemann 418, Gillespie 4759
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 464)
Vouchers cited: Degener & Ordonez 13881
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 464)
Vouchers cited: DA 11384, Greenwood 58, H.B.R. Parham 265, Weiner 275, DA 7824
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Yasawas Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 464)
Voucher cited: DA 11765
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Eiao Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence & M. Teikiteetini 9322 (PAP), J. Florence, S.P. Perlman & M. Teikiteetini 9347 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hatuta'a (Hatutu) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence & M. Teikiteetini 9391 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Bora Bora Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 113)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 12159
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Bora Bora Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Bora Bora Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 12013 (PAP), J. Florence 12127 (PAP), J. Florence 12151 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 43)
Voucher cited: Raynal 17841; not seen in 1985.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 7903 (PAP), J. Florence 9295 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 113)
Voucher cited: Moore 100
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 10529 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 113)
Voucher cited: Setchell & Parks 1
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Niau Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 10184 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Rangiroa (Rairoa) Atoll introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 10002 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Toau (Tovau) Atoll introduced
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 10239 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 5809 (PAP), J. Florence 5852 (PAP), J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11364 (PAP), J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11382 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rimatara (Rimitara) Island introduced
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 9216 (PAP), J. Florence 9226 (PAP)
Adventice
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 131-133)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11134 (PAP)
Adventice. Assez rare.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 388)
As Phyllanthus simplex Retzius
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island native
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 144)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou native
McPherson, Gordon/Schmid, Maurice (1991) (p. 47)
Vouchers cited: Deplanche s.n., MacKee 28204, Schmid 1020
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre native
McPherson, Gordon/Schmid, Maurice (1991) (p. 47)
Vouchers cited: Balansa 249, Balansa 249a, Balansa 1215, Balansa 1858, Balansa 1859, Baudouin 727 s.loc., Baumann-Bodenheim 6046, Bergeret 3, Brousmiche s.n. s.loc., Cribs 713, Franc 1195, Guillaumin 11050, Guillaumin & Baumann-Bodenheim 6833, Guillaumin & Baumann-Bodenheim 9188, Guillaumin & Baumann-Bodenheim 9208, Guillaumin & Baumann-Bodenheim 9406, Guillaumin & Baumann-Bodenheim 11153, Guillaumin & Baumann-Bodenheim 11474, Le Rat 2629, MacKee 4047, MacKee 4469, MacKee 6457, MacKee 12522, MacKee 16594, MacKee 20299, MacKee 23252, MacKee 24865, MacKee 29274, MacKee 29776, MacKee 30721, MacKee 35189, MacKee 35194, MacKee 36703, Schlechter 14803, Schid 5413, Vieillard 1197, Vieillard 1199, Vieillard 1201, Vieillard 3002, Vieillard 3198, Vieillard 3202, Virot 1180
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) native
McPherson, Gordon/Schmid, Maurice (1991) (p. 47)
Vouchers cited: Baumann-Bodenheim 13483, Cribs 1150, Pancher s.n.
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 95)
As P. simplex. Vouchers cited: CHR 169724, CHR 169727, CHR 169732, CHR 169734
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 19)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 72)
As Phyllanthus simplex Retzius. Vouchers cited: Yuncker 9628 (BISH), Yuncker 9666 (BISH), Yuncker 10014 (BISH), Yuncker 10099 (BISH)
"A common dooryard and plantation weed".
Niue
Niue
Niue Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1997) (voucher ID: PTBG 43027)
Taxon name on voucher: Phyllanthus virgatus
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Western Samoa Islands   Whistler, W. A. (1988) (p. 19)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Ha‘apai Islands   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Hotta 4238, Soakai 586
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 159-160)
"Frequent throughout Tonga".
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Lister, Parks 16244, Yuncker 15339, Hotta 5484, Soakai 983 (EI), Sykes 639, Whistler 7403
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 159-160)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15339
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Cook, Yuncker 15125
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 159-160)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15125
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Late Island native
Sykes, W. R. (1981) (p. 349)
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Late Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Hotta 4790, Buelow & Sykes?
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Niuatoputapu Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Hurlimann 397, Soakai 878, Buelow 1109, Buelow 1124
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Niuatoputapu Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 159-160)
Voucher cited: Hürlimann 397
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Tafahi Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Vouchers cited: Hurlimann 527, Buelow 1145, Whistler 6203
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Tafahi Island   Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (pp. 159-160)
Voucher cited: Hürlimann 527
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island   Whistler, W. A. (1992) (p. 25)
Voucher cited: Crosby 155
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis and Futuna Islands   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
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
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. 186)
In thickets on hillslopes.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 277)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

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

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

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

References:

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./Sachet, M.-H. 1987. Flora of Maupiti, Society Islands. The Smithsonian Institution. Atoll Research Bulletin 294:1-70.

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

Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. John Wiley & Sons, New York. 391 pp.

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

McPherson, Gordon/Schmid, Maurice. 1991. Euphorbiaceae-Phyllanthoideae, Phyllanthus. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Vol. 17, 329 pp.

Schmid, Maurice. 1991. Phyllanthus. In: Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Depéndances 17.

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

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.

Sykes, W. R. 1970. Contributions to the flora of Niue. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin 200, Wellington. 321 pp.

Sykes, W. R. 1981. The vegetation of Late, Tonga. Allertonia 2(6):323-353.

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

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.

Whistler, W. A. 1990. Ethnobotany of the Cook Islands: The plants, their Maori names, and their uses. Allertonia 5(4):347-424.

Whistler, W. A. 1990. The weeds of Manu‘a [unpublished checklist]. 18 pp.

Whistler, W. A. 1992. Flora of Tonga [unpublished checklist]. 107 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.

Yuncker, T. G. 1943. The flora of Niue Island. Bishop Mus. Bull. 178. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 126 pp.

Yuncker, T. G. 1945. Plants of the Manua Islands. Bishop Mus. Bull. 184. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 73 pp.

Yuncker, T. G. 1959. Plants of Tonga. Bishop Museum Bull. 220. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 343 pp.

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


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This page was created on 18 AUG 2002 and was last updated on 21 OCT 2006.