Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)

Clidemia hirta
(Melastomataceae)

Koster's curse, soap bush

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In the news Full-text articles Experts Other resources  

HEAR CLOSING      HEAR CLOSING      HEAR CLOSING

A message from Dr. David Duffy, Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU), University of Hawaii (posted 05 November 2012):

Because of a lack of funds, HEAR (www.hear.org) may close as soon as December 15, although there may be enough funds to extend it until February 15. This will mean several things. The web site will be placed on a new server although it is not clear who will pay for the server or for transitioning the site. HEAR data will not be updated. The Pacific Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) (http://www.hear.org/pier/abtproj.htm) site will also become frozen, as will numerous books, reports and papers (http://www.hear.org/). As software evolves we will likely lose the ability to access the data. The various list servers will need new owners, otherwise moderated lists will cease to function altogether, while other lists will not be able to add or delete members. The photo collection (http://www.hear.org/starr/images/?o=plants) will remain accessible, but only through a third party site that will charge for access.

I should point out that we have already lost the original homes of both the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) and Pacific Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) although they have found temporary refuges. Together with HEAR, they represent the corporate memory both here in Hawaii and across the Pacific of efforts to sustain our natural ecosystems and agriculture against problems caused by species alien to the islands. HEAR also serves as the glue that holds the community together, providing information and facilitating communication. I just hope hindsight is kind to this decision.

PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS TO webmaster@hear.org

Let us know if you have suggestions for additional references to add to this page.

Clidemia hirta is a densely-branched shrub growing to four meters (over twelve feet) tall, with 5-to-7-veined leaves and with stems covered with red bristles. It has small whitish flowers and fruits that are dark blue when ripe.  "As an alien invasive species in the absence of its natural enemies and fast-growing competitors, it can form dense, monotypic thickets under forest canopies where it will shade out most of the vegetation beneath them."  Clidemia hirta was first observed on Oahu in 1941, and has subsequently spread to the Big Island (1972), Molokai (1973), Maui (1977), Kauai (1982), and Lanai (1988).  Clidemia hirta is native to southern Mexico to northern Argentina and east to the islands of the West Indies.  

Featured items

Phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal and predation, and seedling establishment of three invasive plant species in a Hawaiian rain forest
After rain forest of Haleakala National Park was fenced in the late 1980s, native vegetation responded vigorously yet three problematic plant invaders (Clidemia hirta, Hedychium gardnerianum, and Psidium cattleianum) continued to spread unabated and became of great concern to Park managers. This contribution provides a quantitative assessment of crucial life history junctures (quantitative phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal, seed predation, seedling establishment) to assist Haleakala NP and other managers of Hawaiian rain forests. It also provides detailed information for potentially identifying key characteristics in prevention, rapid response, and prioritization of incoming invasive species. (This document is the 2004 Ph.D. dissertation of Dr. Arthur C. Medeiros for the Department of Zoology at the University of Hawaii.)


Species description or overview

Clidemia hirta information from CTAHR (Motooka et al.) View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Information about Clidemia hirta from "Weeds of Hawaii's pastures and natural areas: an identification and management guide" (Motooka et al. 2003) is provided by the University of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Clidemia hirta information from PIER
Information on Clidemia hirta as relevant to Pacific Islands is provided by the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER).

Clidemia hirta description and ecology from GISD (ISSG)
A species description and information about the ecology of Clidemia hirta as an invasive species is provided from the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). GISD was created and is maintained by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).


Taxonomy & nomenclature

GRIN nomenclature info for Clidemia hirta
Nomenclatural information about Clidemia hirta is provided by USDA/ARS/NGRP/GRIN.

Clidemia hirta information from ITIS
The Integrated Taxonomic Information System ITIS provides authoritative taxonomic information on Clidemia hirta, as well as other plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

IPNI nomenclature info for Clidemia hirta
Nomenclatural information about Clidemia hirta is provided by The International Plant Names Index (IPNI).


See also these taxa

Clidemia hirta var. hirta (Melastomataceae): species information from HEAR
Categorized information about Clidemia hirta var. hirta (Melastomataceae) is presented by the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).


Impacts

The invasive tropical shrub Clidemia hirta in its native and introduced ranges: Tests of hypotheses of invasion View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Clidemia suffered greater insect herbivore and fungal pathogen damage in its native Costa Rica than in Hawaii, suggesting that biological control could cause a decline in clidemia growth rates in Hawaiian forests (Saara Jennie DeWalt, PhD thesis, 2003).

Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae): species information from GCW
Information on Clidemia hirta as relevant to Pacific Islands is provided by the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Clidemia hirta impact information from GISD (ISSG)
Impact information regarding Clidemia hirta as an invasive species is provided from the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). GISD was created and is maintained by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).


Control methods

New melastomes on Maui (26 August 2002 report by Forest & Kim Starr) View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Various melastomes and insects feeding on them are observed on Maui and reported in this memo.

Introductions for biological control in Hawaii 1997-2001 View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
The introduction of 16 insect and five fungal species to control six weeds and four insect pests in Hawaii from 1997-2001 is discussed in a paper by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (Proceedings Hawaiian Entomological Society, 2003).

Clidemia hirta information from CTAHR (Motooka et al.) View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Information about Clidemia hirta from "Weeds of Hawaii's pastures and natural areas: an identification and management guide" (Motooka et al. 2003) is provided by the University of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Clidemia hirta management information from GISD (ISSG)
Management information for Clidemia hirta as an invasive species is provided from the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). GISD was created and is maintained by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).


Biocontrol efforts

Introductions for biological control in Hawaii 1997-2001 View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
The introduction of 16 insect and five fungal species to control six weeds and four insect pests in Hawaii from 1997-2001 is discussed in a paper by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (Proceedings Hawaiian Entomological Society, 2003).

Effectiveness of Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaaeothripidae) introduced for biological control of Clidemia hirta in Hawaii, U.S.A.
Reimer, Neil J. and J.W. Beardsley. 1988. Effectiveness of Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaaeothripidae) introduced for biological control of Clidemia hirta in Hawaii, U.S.A. Environmental Entomology 18, no. 6:1141-46.

Predation on Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), a case of biotic interference
Reimer, Neil J. 1988. Predation on Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), a case of biotic interference. Environmental Entomology 17, no. 1: 132-34.

Classical biological control of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) in Hawaii using multiple strategies
Conant, Patrick. 2002. Classical biological control of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) in Hawaii using multiple strategies. pp. 13-20 in Smith, Clifford W., Julie Denslow, and Stephen Hight (eds). 2002. Proceedings of workshop on biological control of native ecosystems in Hawaii. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany) Technical Report 129. 122 pages. from http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/duffy/techr/129.pdf accessed 16 March 2008.

Forest pest biological control program in Hawaii
Smith, Clifford W. 2002. Forest pest biological control program in Hawaii. pp. 91-98 in Smith, Clifford W., Julie Denslow, and Stephen Hight (eds). 2002. Proceedings of workshop on biological control of native ecosystems in Hawaii. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany) Technical Report 129. 122 pages. from http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/duffy/techr/129.pdf accessed 16 March 2008.

Introductions for biological control in Hawaii 1997-2001
Culliney, Thomas W., Walter T. Nagamine, and Kenneth K. Teramoto. 2003. Introductions for biological control in Hawaii 1997-2001. Proc. Hawaiian Entomol. Soc. (2003) 36:145-153.

Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don (Melastomataceae)
Conant, Patrick. 2009. Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don (Melastomataceae). Chapter (9) in Muniappan, R., G.V.P. Reddy, and A. Raman. 2009. Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods. Cambridge University Press.

Some notes on parasitization of Blephoromastix ebulealis (Gunee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Oahu forests
Reimer, N.J. and J.W. Beardsley. 1986. Some notes on parasitization of Blephoromastix ebulealis (Gunee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Oahu forests. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomology Society, vol. 27, pp. 91-93.

Exploratory studies on Clidemia hirta in Trinidad
HEAR citation for Burkhart, R. M. 1986. Progress report on exploratory studies on Clidemia hirta in Trinidad, West Indies, June 1984-June 1985. Hawaii Department of Agriculture files, Honolulu. 52 pp. CITATION ONLY, article not provided.

Insects feeding on the flowers and berries of Clidemia hirta in Trinidad
HEAR citation for Burkhart, R. M. 1988. Supplemental report (Part II) of investigations in Trinidad of insects feeding on the flowers and berries of Clidemia hirta, June 1985-June 1986. Hawaii Department of Agriculture files, Honolulu. 51 pp. CITATION ONLY, article not provided.

Clidemia hirta as a biocontrol target in Hawaii
Information and references regarding Clidemia hirta as a biocontrol target in Hawaii--including the status of each of its biocontrol agents--are provided by the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).


Images

Clidemia hirta images from HEAR
High-quality images of Clidemia hirta are provided by the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Images of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) (Koster's curse)
Links to high-resolution free images of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) (Koster's curse) by Forest & Kim Starr (USGS) are available here.

Clidemia hirta information from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Information about Clidemia hirta in Hawaii is available from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands.

Clidemia hirta images from PIER
Images of Clidemia hirta provided by the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER).


Distribution

Clidemia hirta information from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Information about Clidemia hirta in Hawaii is available from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands.

Invasive species in the Pacific: A technical review and draft regional strategy (2000) View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
The status of invasive plants, vertebrates, arthropods, molluscs, and crustaceans, and options for a regional invasive species strategy for the South Pacific are presented in this series of articles from the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, 2000.

Known distribution of Clidemia hirta on the Big Island (Hawaii, USA) in 1998 View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Distribution of Clidemia hirta is shown on a contour map of the Big Island (HEAR, 1998).

Clidemia hirta worldwide distribution from GISD (ISSG)
Worldwide distribution information about Clidemia hirta is provided from the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). GISD was created and is maintained by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).


Books

Weed handbook of Western Polynesia
Whistler, W. Arthur. 1983. Weed handbook of Western Polynesia. Eschborn: Deutsche Gesellschaft f#r Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH. ISBN: 3-88085-227-8.

Turning the tide: The eradication of invasive species (proceedings of the International Conference on Eradication of Island Invasives)
Veitch, C.R. and M.N. Clout (eds.) . 2002. Turning the tide: The eradication of invasive species (proceedings of the International Conference on Eradication of Island Invasives). IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. vii + 414pp. ISBN: 2-8317-0682-3.

Weeds of Hawaii's Pastures and Natural Areas: An Identification and Management Guide
Motooka, Philip, Luisa Castro, Duane Nelson, Guy Nagai, and Lincoln Ching. 2003. Weeds of Hawaii's Pastures and Natural Areas: An Identification and Management Guide. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (University of Hawaii--Manoa), Honolulu. 184 pp. color illus. ISBN: 1-929325-14-2.


In the news

Fighting invasive species with biocontrol (Maui News, 5/29/2005)
The battle against some of the most destructive invasive species in Hawaii might be won only with the help of the biocontrol, the introduction of more species. Various experts comment on changing attitudes toward this method.


Full-text articles

The invasive tropical shrub Clidemia hirta in its native and introduced ranges: Tests of hypotheses of invasion View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
Clidemia suffered greater insect herbivore and fungal pathogen damage in its native Costa Rica than in Hawaii, suggesting that biological control could cause a decline in clidemia growth rates in Hawaiian forests (Saara Jennie DeWalt, PhD thesis, 2003).

Phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal and predation, and seedling establishment of three invasive plant species in a Hawaiian rain forest
After rain forest of Haleakala National Park was fenced in the late 1980s, native vegetation responded vigorously yet three problematic plant invaders (Clidemia hirta, Hedychium gardnerianum, and Psidium cattleianum) continued to spread unabated and became of great concern to Park managers. This contribution provides a quantitative assessment of crucial life history junctures (quantitative phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal, seed predation, seedling establishment) to assist Haleakala NP and other managers of Hawaiian rain forests. It also provides detailed information for potentially identifying key characteristics in prevention, rapid response, and prioritization of incoming invasive species. (This document is the 2004 Ph.D. dissertation of Dr. Arthur C. Medeiros for the Department of Zoology at the University of Hawaii.)

Review and status of biological control of clidemia in Hawai'i
Nakahara, Larry M., Robert M. Burkhart, and George Y. Funasaki. 1992. Review and status of biological control of clidemia in Hawai'i. In Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai'i: Management and research, edited by Charles P. Stone, Clifford W. Smith, and J. Timothy Tunison, 452-65. Honolulu: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Effectiveness of Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaaeothripidae) introduced for biological control of Clidemia hirta in Hawaii, U.S.A.
Reimer, Neil J. and J.W. Beardsley. 1988. Effectiveness of Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaaeothripidae) introduced for biological control of Clidemia hirta in Hawaii, U.S.A. Environmental Entomology 18, no. 6:1141-46.

Predation on Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), a case of biotic interference
Reimer, Neil J. 1988. Predation on Liothrips urichi Karny (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), a case of biotic interference. Environmental Entomology 17, no. 1: 132-34.

Distribution, status, phenology, rate of spread, and management of Clidemia in Hawai'i
Smith, Clifford W. 1992. Distribution, status, phenology, rate of spread, and management of Clidemia in Hawai'i. In Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai'i: Management and research, edited by Charles P. Stone, Clifford W. Smith, and J. Timothy Tunison, 241-53. Honolulu: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Colletotrichum gloeosporoides, a possible biological control agent for Clidemia hirta in Hawaiian forests
Trujillo, E.E., F.M. Latterell, and A.E. Rossi. 1986. Colletotrichum gloeosporoides, a possible biological control agent for Clidemia hirta in Hawaiian forests. Plant Disease 70:974-76.

Koster's curse (Clidemia hirta), a weed pest in Hawaiian forests
Wester, L.L. and H.B. Wood. 1977. Koster's curse (Clidemia hirta), a weed pest in Hawaiian forests. Environmental Conservation 4, no. 1:35-41.

Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawaii: Management and research
Stone, Charles P., Clifford W. Smith, and J. Timothy Tunison (eds.) . 1992. Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawaii: Management and research. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit. ISBN: 0-8248-1474-6.

Invasive species in the Pacific: A technical review and draft regional strategy
South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP). Sherley, Greg (ed.) . 2000. Invasive species in the Pacific: A technical review and draft regional strategy. Apia, Samoa: South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. ISBN: 982-04-0214-X.

Turning the tide: The eradication of invasive species (proceedings of the International Conference on Eradication of Island Invasives)
Veitch, C.R. and M.N. Clout (eds.) . 2002. Turning the tide: The eradication of invasive species (proceedings of the International Conference on Eradication of Island Invasives). IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. vii + 414pp. ISBN: 2-8317-0682-3.

Weeds of Hawaii's Pastures and Natural Areas: An Identification and Management Guide
Motooka, Philip, Luisa Castro, Duane Nelson, Guy Nagai, and Lincoln Ching. 2003. Weeds of Hawaii's Pastures and Natural Areas: An Identification and Management Guide. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (University of Hawaii--Manoa), Honolulu. 184 pp. color illus. ISBN: 1-929325-14-2.

Assessing the risks of plant invasions arising from collections in tropical botanical gardens
Dawson, Wayne, Ahmed S. Mndolwa, David F. R. P. Burslem, and Philip E. Hulme. 2008. Assessing the risks of plant invasions arising from collections in tropical botanical gardens. Biodiversity Conservation. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

Phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal and predation, and seedling establishment of three invasive plant species in a Hawaiian rain forest
Medeiros, A.C. 2004. Phenology, reproductive potential, seed dispersal and predation, and seedling establishment of three invasive plant species in a Hawaiian rain forest. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu.

Proceedings of workshop on biological control of native ecosystems in Hawaii
Smith, Clifford W., Julie Denslow, and Stephen Hight (eds.) . 2002. Proceedings of workshop on biological control of native ecosystems in Hawaii. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany) Technical Report 129. 122 pages.

Classical biological control of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) in Hawaii using multiple strategies
Conant, Patrick. 2002. Classical biological control of Clidemia hirta (Melastomataceae) in Hawaii using multiple strategies. pp. 13-20 in Smith, Clifford W., Julie Denslow, and Stephen Hight (eds). 2002. Proceedings of workshop on biological control of native ecosystems in Hawaii. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany) Technical Report 129. 122 pages. from http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/duffy/techr/129.pdf accessed 16 March 2008.

Forest pest biological control program in Hawaii
Smith, Clifford W. 2002. Forest pest biological control program in Hawaii. pp. 91-98 in Smith, Clifford W., Julie Denslow, and Stephen Hight (eds). 2002. Proceedings of workshop on biological control of native ecosystems in Hawaii. Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Botany) Technical Report 129. 122 pages. from http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/duffy/techr/129.pdf accessed 16 March 2008.

Introductions for biological control in Hawaii 1997-2001
Culliney, Thomas W., Walter T. Nagamine, and Kenneth K. Teramoto. 2003. Introductions for biological control in Hawaii 1997-2001. Proc. Hawaiian Entomol. Soc. (2003) 36:145-153.

Some notes on parasitization of Blephoromastix ebulealis (Gunee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Oahu forests
Reimer, N.J. and J.W. Beardsley. 1986. Some notes on parasitization of Blephoromastix ebulealis (Gunee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Oahu forests. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomology Society, vol. 27, pp. 91-93.


Experts

Clidemia hirta contacts from GISD (ISSG)
Contact information for experts on Clidemia hirta as an invasive species is provided from the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). GISD was created and is maintained by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).


Other resources

Review and status of biological control of clidemia in Hawai'i
Nakahara, Larry M., Robert M. Burkhart, and George Y. Funasaki. 1992. Review and status of biological control of clidemia in Hawai'i. In Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai'i: Management and research, edited by Charles P. Stone, Clifford W. Smith, and J. Timothy Tunison, 452-65. Honolulu: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Distribution, status, phenology, rate of spread, and management of Clidemia in Hawai'i
Smith, Clifford W. 1992. Distribution, status, phenology, rate of spread, and management of Clidemia in Hawai'i. In Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawai'i: Management and research, edited by Charles P. Stone, Clifford W. Smith, and J. Timothy Tunison, 241-53. Honolulu: Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Colletotrichum gloeosporoides, a possible biological control agent for Clidemia hirta in Hawaiian forests
Trujillo, E.E., F.M. Latterell, and A.E. Rossi. 1986. Colletotrichum gloeosporoides, a possible biological control agent for Clidemia hirta in Hawaiian forests. Plant Disease 70:974-76.

Koster's curse (Clidemia hirta), a weed pest in Hawaiian forests
Wester, L.L. and H.B. Wood. 1977. Koster's curse (Clidemia hirta), a weed pest in Hawaiian forests. Environmental Conservation 4, no. 1:35-41.

Distribution and Spread of Alien Plants in Kipahulu Valley, Haleakala National Park, above 2,300 ft Elevation View info about Adobe Acrobat PDF format
A baseline survey based on a network of 20 transects and 400 plots provides information on alien plant distribution during feral pig removal and prior to alien plant control efforts in Kipahulu Valley, Maui (from Alien Plant Invasions in Native Ecosystems of Hawaii: Management and Research, 1992, 39 pp).

Clidemia hirta references from GISD (ISSG)
References regarding Clidemia hirta as an invasive species is provided from the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). GISD was created and is maintained by IUCN's Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).

Responses to light and water availability of four invasive Melastomataceae in Hawaii
"To understand life history traits of four successful invasive Melastomataceae, two shade-intolerant herbs (Arthrostema ciliatum and Tibouchina herbacea) and two shade-tolerant woody species (Clidemia hirta, a shrub, and Miconia calvescens, a tree) were subjected to three light levels and two watering regimes in a greenhouse".


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The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) is currently funded by grants from the Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service with support from PCSU (UH Manoa). Historically, HEAR has also received funding and/or support from the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), PIERC (USGS), the USFWS, HCSU (UH Hilo), and HALE (NPS).

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