Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Rottboellia cochinchinensis
(Lour.) Clayton, Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 22 (Go to the risk assessment (Florida (U.S.))).
High risk (Go to the risk assessment (United States)) (PDF format).

Other Latin names:  Rottboellia exaltata L. f.

Common name(s): [more details]

Bikol: gaho

Bontoc: nagei

Chinese: tong zhou mao

English: corngrass, guinea-fowl grass, itchgrass, Kelly grass, kokoma grass, Raoul grass

Filipino: bukal, girum

French: fataque duvet

Ibatan: annarai

Iloko: sagisi

Spanish: arocillo gigante, caminadora, cola de la garto, cola de lagarto, paja peluda, rogelia

Tagalog: aguiñgay

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Tall annual, supported below by stilt roots, the basal leaf sheaths painfully hispid; culms 0.3-3.0 m tall.  Leaf blades broadly linear, up to 45 cm long and 2 cm wide.  Racemes 3-15 cm long, glabrous, terminating in a tail of reduced spikelets, gathered into a spathate false panicle.  Sessile spikelet oblong-elliptic, pallid; lower glume 3.5-5 mm long; upper glume with its keel narrowly winged toward the tip; pedicelled spikelet narrowly ovate, 3-5 mm long, herbaceous, green; pedicel shorter than the internode" (Dassanayake, 1994; pp. 389-390).

"Annual, erect, up to ca 3 m tall; culms supported by prop roots, nodes glabrous. Leaf sheaths glabrous or with sparse tubercular-based hairs; ligules ca 2 mm long; leaf blades linear to broadly linear, apex attenuate, up to 45 cm x 0.5-5 cm, glabrous or with sparse tubercular-based hairs. Racemes 3-15 cm long, terminating with several reduced spikelets; sessile spikelets 3.5-5.5 mm long; pedicellate spikelets herbaceous, green, 3-5 mm long" (Stanley and Ross, 1989; vol. 3, p. 250).

Description from GrassBase.

Habitat/ecology:  "A weed of warm season crops but its habitat varies widely across the world.  In many areas it is prominent in open, well-drained places and is one of the important species in old field successions.  In South Africa, however, it frequents wet places and, in Madras, may even grow in shallow water.  In some regions it requires sunny or moderately shaded places, whereas in others it is found in thickets or teak forests.  Finally, it is common on contour banks and roadsides and its importance as a weed of several cultivated world crops is increasing.  The weed is most troublesome between 800 and 1,300 m elevation" (Holm et al., 1977; pp. 139-143).

"In eastern Africa the species is one of the primary colonizers of disturbed land.  In Trinidad it is one of the important fast-growing annuals which finally become dominant and take over from early perennial colonizers such as Cynodon dactylon and Cyperus rotundus.  It is a very vigorous plant and often exists in pure stands in old, cultivated fields and near habitations"  (Holm et al., 1977; pp. 139-143).

In Sri Lanka, "along roadsides and in open, weedy places, from sea level to 200 m elevation" (Dassanayake, 1994; pp. 389-390).

Propagation:  "Reproduction is by seeds.  A single plant may bear 2,200 seeds.  Seeds are spread by water, in poorly cleaned crop seeds, and by harvesting machines" (Holm et al., 1977; p. 142).

Native range:  Africa, Asia and Australia (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 64)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Henty, E. E. (1969) (p. 166)
As Rottboellia exaltata L. f.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 64)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 141)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 68, 78)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Merrill, Elmer D. (1925) (pp. 39-40)
In open places, borders of thickets, etc., at low and medium altitudes; common.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 96)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
invasive
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 106)
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)
New South Wales native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 141)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Central America
Central America (Pacific rim)
Panama (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 312)
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. 345)
As Rottboellia exaltata L. f.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 141)
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)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 192)
As Rottboellia exaltata L. var. appendiculata Hack.
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) introduced
invasive
Pallawatta, Nirmalie/Reaser, Jamie K./Gutierrez, Alixis T./eds. (2003) (p. 46)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 75)
Naturalised
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 312)
South America (Pacific rim)
South America (Pacific rim)
Perú (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 141)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 141)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island native
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1993) (p. 21)

Control: 

Biological:  Waterhouse (1994, pp. 223-227) lists the natural enemies of the species.


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 18 DEC 2012.