Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR)

Heteropogon contortus
(Poaceae)

  
image of Heteropogon contortus
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Heteropogon contortus is a branching, erect, shallow-rooted, tufted perennial grass 40 to 100 cm (1-3 ft) tall that grows in rather large bunches. It may be easily recognized by the long, twisted, tangled, bristly awns (seeds).  "It is either a native of the Hawaiian Islands or of very early introduction as it was used by the native Hawaiians for thatching their houses."  "At present [ed.: year: 1939] it is found on all the islands in dry rocky situations at lower altitudes though it seems to be rapidly diminishing in amount in some of these areas, especially on Oahu and Molokai. It is palatable when young, and in dry areas where feed is not abundant it is grazed by cattle when old and dry. Because of its shallow root system it is easily pulled up by grazing animals."  Heteropogon contortus is native to warm regions of both hemispheres (widely distributed). 


Species description or overview

Heteropogon contortus information from Native Plants Hawaii
Information about Heteropogon contortus--including details regarding plant, flower, and leaf characteristics; pests and diseases; growth requirements; and environment--is provided by Native Plants Hawaii.

Heteropogon contortus description and ecology from GISD (ISSG)
A species description and information about the ecology of Heteropogon contortus 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).

Heteropogon contortus information from NTBG
Information about Heteropogon contortus is available from the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG).


Taxonomy & nomenclature

GRIN nomenclature info for Heteropogon contortus
Nomenclatural information about Heteropogon contortus is provided by USDA/ARS/NGRP/GRIN.

Heteropogon contortus information from the Smithsonian's Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Information about Heteropogon contortus--including nomenclature and synonymy, and status and distribution in Hawaii--is provided by the "Flora of the Hawaiian Islands" website of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Links from this page include descriptive information about the species, as well as worldwide distributional information and general information about the genus.

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

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


Impacts

Heteropogon contortus impact information from GISD (ISSG)
Impact information regarding Heteropogon contortus 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

Heteropogon contortus management information from GISD (ISSG)
Management information for Heteropogon contortus 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).


Cultivation & propagation

Heteropogon contortus information from Native Plants Hawaii
Information about Heteropogon contortus--including details regarding plant, flower, and leaf characteristics; pests and diseases; growth requirements; and environment--is provided by Native Plants Hawaii.


Images

Images of Heteropogon contortus (Poaceae) (pili, pili grass)
Links to high-resolution free images of Heteropogon contortus (Poaceae) (pili, pili grass) by Forest & Kim Starr (USGS) are available here.

Heteropogon contortus information from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Information about Heteropogon contortus in Hawaii is available from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands.

Heteropogon contortus images from Native Plants Hawaii
Images of Heteropogon contortus are provided on the Native Plants Hawaii website.

Heteropogon contortus images by PT
Heteropogon contortus seed head high-resolution images by Maui photographer Philip Thomas are available online.

Heteropogon contortus images by Jupiter Nielsen
Images of Heteropogon contortus are provided online by Maui artist/photographer Jupiter Nielsen.


Distribution

Heteropogon contortus information from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Information about Heteropogon contortus in Hawaii is available from the Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands.

Heteropogon contortus information from the Smithsonian's Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Information about Heteropogon contortus--including nomenclature and synonymy, and status and distribution in Hawaii--is provided by the "Flora of the Hawaiian Islands" website of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Links from this page include descriptive information about the species, as well as worldwide distributional information and general information about the genus.

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.

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


Where to see this species

A nature walk to Kaena Point
Arrigoni, Edward. 1978. A nature walk to Kaena Point. Honolulu: Topgallant Publishing Co., Ltd. ISBN: 0-914916-30-0.

Kahoolawe (Kanaloa): natural areas of Hawaii
Forest and Kim Starr provide information about the island of Kahoolawe as a natural area in Hawaii. Links to additional resources are provided, as well as links to images of plant species found on Kahoolawe.

Kaena Point natural area reserve ecosystem restoration project
The resources of Kaena, and threats to the wildlife, are depicted on this US Fish and Wildlife site.


Books

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.

A nature walk to Kaena Point
Arrigoni, Edward. 1978. A nature walk to Kaena Point. Honolulu: Topgallant Publishing Co., Ltd. ISBN: 0-914916-30-0.

Hawaii's ferns and fern allies
Palmer, Daniel D. 2003. Hawaii's ferns and fern allies. Contribuition no. 2002-010 to the Hawaii Biological Survey. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 324 pp. ISBN: 0-8248-2522-5.

Grasses of the Hawaiian ranges (book)
A complete list of all species covered in Grasses of the Hawaiian ranges (Whitney, Hosaka, and Ripperton, 1939) is presented, along with a complete bibliographic citation. This book "describes and illustrates 103 of the most important grasses in Hawaii.... There are many grasses, either recently introduced or slow to become acclimatized, that have not yet established themselves on the ranges; these are not here included. Species that are found outside the general range areas, as in summit bogs, forest reserves, and national parks, are also omitted. Keys to the tribes and genera [are also included." ([adapted] from the book's introduction)


Full-text articles

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.

The grasses of Hawaii
Hitchcock, A.S. 1922. The grasses of Hawaii. Honolulu, Bishop Museum Press : New York, Kraus Reprint Co. (1974). 235 pp. illus. (line drawings).

Maui Offshore Islet Botanical Survey
Starr, F., K. Starr, and Wood K. 2006. Maui Offshore Islet Botanical Survey. Report prepared for State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Offshore Islet Restoration Committee, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Oahu Offshore Islets Botanical Survey
Starr, F. and K. Starr. 2006. Oahu Offshore Islets Botanical Survey. Report prepared for State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Offshore Islet Restoration Committee, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Lanai Offshore Islets Botanical Survey
Starr, F., K. Starr, and K. Wood. 2006. Lanai Offshore Islets Botanical Survey. Report prepared for State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Offshore Islet Restoration Committee, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Revised List of Hawaiian Names of Plants Native and Introduced with Brief Descriptions and Notes as to Occurrence and Medicinal or Other Values
Gon III, Samuel M. Ohukaniohia. 2008. Revised List of Hawaiian Names of Plants Native and Introduced with Brief Descriptions and Notes as to Occurrence and Medicinal or Other Values, by Joseph F. Rock Consulting Botanist, Board of Agriculture and Forestry Honolulu, Hawaii, 1920; transcribed and annotated by Samuel M. Ohukaniohia Gon III. Ethnobotany Research & Applications 6:405-442.


Experts

Heteropogon contortus contacts from GISD (ISSG)
Contact information for experts on Heteropogon contortus 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

The grasses of Hawaii
Hitchcock, A.S. 1922. The grasses of Hawaii. Honolulu, Bishop Museum Press : New York, Kraus Reprint Co. (1974). 235 pp. illus. (line drawings).

Heteropogon contortus references from GISD (ISSG)
References regarding Heteropogon contortus 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).


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The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) project was historically funded by the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) through PIERC (USGS) with support from HCSU (UH Hilo). More details are available online. Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII)

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