Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Alternanthera sessilis
(sessile joyweed)

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Datasheet

Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 10 December 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Alternanthera sessilis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • sessile joyweed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. sessilis is a pioneer species typically growing on disturbed areas and in wetland habitats, and regarded as a fast-growing highly invasive weed. It is adapted to grow on a range of soil types ranging from poor sandy or alkaline soils,...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.
Copyright©Jeevan Jose-2009 (Jee & Rani Nature Photography/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.
HabitAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.©Jeevan Jose-2009 (Jee & Rani Nature Photography/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.
Copyright©Jeevan Jose-2009 (Jee & Rani Nature Photography/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.
HabitAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit. Kadavoor, Kerala, India. December 2009.©Jeevan Jose-2009 (Jee & Rani Nature Photography/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit, in a rice crop.
TitleHabit
CaptionAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit, in a rice crop.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit, in a rice crop.
HabitAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); flowering habit, in a rice crop.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); Morphology: a) Flowers. b) flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes. c) pistil. d) utricle with persistent perianth. e) seed.
TitleMorphology
CaptionAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); Morphology: a) Flowers. b) flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes. c) pistil. d) utricle with persistent perianth. e) seed.
Copyright©SEAMEO-BIOTROP
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); Morphology: a) Flowers. b) flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes. c) pistil. d) utricle with persistent perianth. e) seed.
MorphologyAlternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed); Morphology: a) Flowers. b) flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes. c) pistil. d) utricle with persistent perianth. e) seed.©SEAMEO-BIOTROP

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R. Br. ex DC.

Preferred Common Name

  • sessile joyweed

Other Scientific Names

  • Achyranthes linearifolia Sw. ex Wikstr.
  • Achyranthes sessilis (L.) Besser
  • Achyranthes triandra Roxb.
  • Achyranthes villosa Blanco
  • Allaganthera forsskaolei Mart.
  • Alternanthera angustifolia R.Br.
  • Alternanthera denticulata R.Br.
  • Alternanthera ficoides P.Beauv.
  • Alternanthera glabra Moq.
  • Alternanthera nana R.Br.
  • Alternanthera nodiflora R.Br.
  • Alternanthera prostrata D.Don
  • Alternanthera repens J.F.Gmel.
  • Alternanthera sennii Mattei
  • Alternanthera tenuissima Suess.
  • Alternanthera triandra var. denticulata (R.Br.) Maiden & Betche
  • Alternanthera triandra var. nodiflora (R.Br.) Maiden & Betche
  • Gomphrena sessilis L.
  • Illecebrum sessile (L.) L.
  • Paronychia sessilis (L.) Desf.

International Common Names

  • English: creeping chaffweed; dwarf copperleaf; khaki weed; rabbit weed; rabbit-meat
  • Spanish: colchon de nino; coyuntura; hierba de perico; paja blanca; sanguinaria; santoma cimarrona (Dominican Republic)
  • French: brède chevrette; herbe d'emballage; magloire; serenti
  • Chinese: lian zi cao
  • Portuguese: bredo-de-agua; periquito-sessil; perpetua

Local Common Names

  • Cambodia: cheng bângkong; phak phew
  • Fiji: galuti
  • Germany: Garnelenkraut
  • Indonesia: bayem kremah; daun tolod; kremah; kremek; tolod
  • Japan: tsurunogeito
  • Laos: khaix ped
  • Malaysia: akar rumput; bayam pasir; bayam tana; carpet weed keremak; kelama hijau; kerak-kerak paya; keremak; kerumak bukit paya
  • Nepal: bhirangijhar
  • Philippines: bonga-bonga
  • Samoa: vao sosolo
  • Sri Lanka: mukunuwanna
  • Taiwan: periquito-sessil
  • Thailand: phakpet khaao; phakpet thai
  • Tonga: brede embellage
  • Zambia: mkungira

EPPO code

  • ALRSE (Alternanthera sessilis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. sessilis is a pioneer species typically growing on disturbed areas and in wetland habitats, and regarded as a fast-growing highly invasive weed. It is adapted to grow on a range of soil types ranging from poor sandy or alkaline soils, to loam or black cotton soils. It is also able to grow in seasonally-waterlogged areas as well as in areas with extreme dry conditions (Holm et al., 1997). A. sessilis can be found invading floodplain wetlands, margins of rivers, streams, canals, ditches, ponds, reservoirs, tanks, marshes, swamps, wet low-lying ground, ephemeral pools, seasonal pans and damp forest. This species is also a weed in fields with sorghum, millet, Eleusine spp., maize, cotton, cassava, cereal crops, pastures, and vegetable farms (Gupta, 2014).  Consequently, this species has been listed as invasive in India, South Africa, Namibia, Spain, Hawaii and many other islands in the Pacific Ocean (see distribution table for details). It is also listed as a noxious weed in the United States (USDA-NRCS, 2014). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Caryophyllales
  •                         Family: Amaranthaceae
  •                             Genus: Alternanthera
  •                                 Species: Alternanthera sessilis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Alternanthera is a diverse genus (80–200 species) and the second largest in subfamily Gomphrenoideae of the Amaranthaceae.  The highest diversity of this genus occurs in South America, but many species also occur in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico (Sanchez del Pino et al., 2012). 

Description

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A. sessilis is an annual or perennial herb, of 0.2-1 m high, with strong taproots. The stems are generally prostrate, creeping, often rooting at the nodes, sometimes floating or ascending at the tips, cylindrical and slightly hairy, with numerous, erect branches. The leaves are simple, opposite, shortly petiolate or sessile, broadly lanceolate or spatulate to almost linear, 0.6-5 cm long, and 0.3-1 cm wide. They are attenuated at the base, and the apex is acute to blunt, with entire, glabrous or pilose (thin, fine, articulate hairs) margins. The inflorescences are dense, sessile, silvery-white clusters of compressed spikes in the leaf axils; perianth segments are equal in length, acute, 1.5-2.5 mm long with a short point. Bracts are ovate, concave, 0.3-1 mm long and persistent; bracteoles are oblong-ovate, 1-1.5 mm long, may be acute, and not deeply lacerated. Sepals are 2-3 mm long, white or purplish, glossy with a green base, glabrous or with a few long hairs, and a strong midrib. The fruits are indehiscent, a small, flattened, obcordate or obovate utricle, 2-2.5 mm long, enclosing the seed. Seeds are dark-brown to black, disc-shaped and shiny, about 0.8-1 mm in diameter. They are light sensitive and the average number of seeds per plant is ca 2000.

Distribution

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A. sessilis has a pantropical distribution, being present throughout the Old World tropics, tropical Africa, southern and eastern Asia and Australia. The native range is uncertain (Gupta, 2014). Many Chinese publications (e.g. Fan et al., 2013) describe it as native to China, and USDA-ARS (2014) lists the native range as China and southern to southeastern Asia. It is reported as native to some of the Pacific Ocean island groups and as introduced to others (Gupta, 2014). However, the most recent study of the genera Alternanthera suggests that A. sessilis originated in South America and from here was introduced to the Old World (Sanchez del Pino et al., 2012). 

See Holm et al. (1991), Gupta (2014) and the distribution table for a list of countries in which this species has been recorded.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 30 Jun 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroduced
BeninPresentIntroduced
BotswanaPresent, Localized
BurundiPresentIntroduced
CameroonPresent, Localized
ChadPresentIntroduced
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent, Localized
Côte d'IvoirePresent, Localized
EgyptPresent, Localized
EswatiniPresentIntroduced
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced
GabonPresentIntroduced
GambiaPresentIntroduced
GhanaPresent, Localized
GuineaPresent, Localized
Guinea-BissauPresent
KenyaPresent, Localized
LiberiaPresentIntroduced
MadagascarPresentIntroduced
MalawiPresent
MaliPresentIntroduced
MauritaniaPresent, Localized
MauritiusPresent, Localized
MozambiquePresent, Localized
NamibiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
NigerPresentIntroduced
NigeriaPresent, Localized
RwandaPresentIntroduced
SenegalPresent, Localized
South AfricaPresent, Localized
SudanPresent, Localized
TanzaniaPresent, Localized
TunisiaPresentIntroduced
UgandaPresent, Localized
ZambiaPresent, Localized
ZimbabwePresent, Localized

Asia

BangladeshPresent, Localized
BhutanPresent
CambodiaPresent, Localized
ChinaPresent, Localized
-AnhuiPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-FujianPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-GuangdongPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-GuangxiPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-GuizhouPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-HenanPresent
-HubeiPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-HunanPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-JiangsuPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-JiangxiPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-SichuanPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-YunnanPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
-ZhejiangPresentNative and IntroducedListed as both native and introduced
Hong KongPresent, Localized
IndiaPresent, Localized
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresent
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroducedInvasive
-AssamPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ChhattisgarhPresent
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Jammu and KashmirPresentIntroducedInvasive
-KarnatakaPresent
-KeralaPresent
-Madhya PradeshPresent
-ManipurPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MeghalayaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MizoramPresentIntroducedInvasive
-NagalandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-OdishaPresent
-RajasthanPresent
-SikkimPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Tamil NaduPresent
-TripuraPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Uttar PradeshPresent
-UttarakhandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-West BengalPresentIntroducedInvasive
IndonesiaPresent, Localized
IranPresent, Localized
IraqPresent, Localized
IsraelPresent, Localized
JapanPresent, Localized
JordanPresent, Localized
LaosPresent
MalaysiaPresent, Localized
MyanmarPresent
NepalPresent, Localized
North KoreaPresent, Localized
PakistanPresent, Localized
PhilippinesPresent, Localized
SingaporePresent
South KoreaPresent, Localized
Sri LankaPresent
TaiwanPresent, Localized
ThailandPresent, Localized
TurkeyPresent, Localized
VietnamPresent, Localized

Europe

BelgiumPresentIntroducedCasual alien
ItalyPresent, Localized
RussiaPresent, Localized
SpainPresentIntroducedInvasiveNaturalized. Listed as invasive in Castilla & Leon (Sanz-Elorza, 2008)

North America

AnguillaPresentNative
BarbadosPresentNative
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeTortola
CanadaPresent
Cayman IslandsPresentNative
Costa RicaPresent
CubaPresentNative
DominicaPresentNative
Dominican RepublicPresent, Localized
El SalvadorPresent
GrenadaPresentNative
GuadeloupePresentNative
GuatemalaPresent
HaitiPresentNative
HondurasPresentNative
JamaicaPresent, Localized
MartiniquePresentNative
MexicoPresent
MontserratPresentNative
Netherlands AntillesPresentNative
NicaraguaPresent
PanamaPresent
Puerto RicoPresent, Localized
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNative
Saint LuciaPresentNative
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNative
Trinidad and TobagoPresent, Localized
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentNative
United StatesPresent, Localized
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedInvasiveWeed
-FloridaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-MarylandPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MinnesotaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-MississippiPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-OregonPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed
-TexasPresentIntroducedInvasive
-VermontPresentIntroducedInvasiveNoxious weed

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasive
AustraliaPresent
-Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
Federated States of MicronesiaPresent
FijiPresent, Localized
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
GuamPresent
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
NauruPresentIntroducedInvasive
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasive
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
Northern Mariana IslandsPresent
PalauPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent, Localized
PitcairnPresent, Localized
SamoaPresent
TongaPresent
TuvaluPresent
VanuatuPresent
Wallis and FutunaPresentIntroducedInvasive

South America

ArgentinaPresent
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AcrePresentNative
-AmazonasPresentNative
-BahiaPresentNative
-Espirito SantoPresentNative
-Mato GrossoPresentNative
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNative
-Minas GeraisPresentNative
-ParaPresentNative
-ParanaPresentNative
-PiauiPresent
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNative
-RoraimaPresentNative
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative
-Sao PauloPresentNative
ColombiaPresent, Localized
EcuadorPresent, Localized
-Galapagos IslandsPresent
French GuianaPresentNative
GuyanaPresentNative
PeruPresent
SurinamePresent, Localized
VenezuelaPresentNative

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of A. sessilis is moderate. This species is commercialized for ornamental purposes, and its seeds are naturally spread by wind and water. The probability for A. sessilis to colonize new areas is therefore high principally in areas near cultivation. In the USA, the species is listed as a noxious weed (USDA-NRCS, 2014). 

Habitat

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A. sessilis is a common pantropical weed of shady, damp soils in cultivated and waste areas. It is commonly associated with roadsides, pathways, wasteland, irrigation canals, ditches, dykes, gardens, swamps, and fallow ground. It can be found in hydromorphic ricefields in West Africa and Asia, and in the following cultivated areas: maize crops in Nigeria; sorghum, millet, Eleusine sp., maize, cotton, cassava, groundnuts and cash crops in Zaire; and tobacco, dryland field crops, pastures and vegetable farms in the Philippines. While it is typically found growing on disturbed parts of a variety of wetland habitats, including in water up to 1 m deep (Gupta, 2014), the plant is adapted to both hydric and xeric conditions (Datta and Biswas, 1979).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Natural
FreshwaterIrrigation channels Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
FreshwaterIrrigation channels Present, no further details Natural
FreshwaterRivers / streams Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
FreshwaterRivers / streams Present, no further details Natural

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Growth Stages

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Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for A. sessilis varied from 2n = 34 to 2n = 40 (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Reproductive biology and Phenology:

A. sessilis is an annual or perennial herb, 0.2-1 m high, with strong creeping tap roots. The stems are generally prostrate, often rooting at the nodes, sometimes floating, creeping or ascending at the tips, cylindrical and slightly hairy, with numerous erect branches. It is propagated by vegetative fragments, and seeds, and fruits which are dispersed myrmechorously (by ants) (Moody et al., 1984; Pancho, 1986; Soerjani et al., 1987). The average number of seeds produced per plant is ca 2000.

A. sessilis has been recorded flowering and fruiting all year in some areas. In India, the plants flower and fruit throughout the year with most vigorous vegetative growth at the onset of the monsoon season, and most vigorous reproductive growth at the end of the season. Flowers are self-pollinated and the fruits are dispersed by both wind and water. In Java, Indonesia, it flowers from January to December (Datta and Biswas, 1979; Pancho, 1986; Soerjani et al., 1987). In China the species flowers from May to July and fruits from July to September (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). In North America it has been recorded flowering during summer or early autumn (Holm et al., 1997).

Environmental Requirements

A. sessilis can grow on a wide range of soil types, preferring wet conditions. It can be found at low and medium altitudes in the Philippines, and from 0-2650 m in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. It prefers loamy, alkaline soils, low in exchangeable calcium and rich in total nitrogen. This species is able to grow in flooded areas (up to 90 cm deep), but it is also tolerant of extreme dry conditions (Holm et al., 1997; PROTA, 2014).

The species is often present in species-rich associations with a range of aquatic and wetland plants in disturbed wetlands. It grows in the drawdown zones of water bodies or in water up to 1 m deep, where it may be part floating and part emergent or even grow in mats of floating vegetation, but can also grow in relatively dry situations (Gupta, 2014).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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A. sessilis spreads by seeds and vegetatively by stems that run along the soil surface and root at the nodes. Seeds are dispersed by wind and water and stem fragments can be carried considerable distances by floodwater—downstream and out over floodplains. Once established, stem fragments can produce new roots. Fragmentation and dispersal can also occur as a result of human activity (Holm et al., 1997). 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionWeed Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)
DisturbanceWeed Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)
Escape from confinement or garden escapeStems and seeds Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)
Garden waste disposalPlanted in gardens and water-gardens Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)
Ornamental purposesPlanted in water-gardens Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)

Pathway Vectors

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Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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A. sessilis is the predominant weed in paddy fields in Taiwan. It causes moderate yield and/or quality losses and is economically important in certain other rice producing countries (Chiang and Leu, 1981). It can be noxious (Soerjani et al., 1987). In Nigeria it is a weed of maize crops, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo it has been recorded growing in fields of a range of cash crops (Gupta, 2014).

A. sessilis is an alternative host of the root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne incognita and Pratylenchus coffeae (Goodey et al., 1965). Rhizoecus kondonis, a citrus root mealybug which causes severe damage to citrus roots in Fujian Province, China, has also been reported on the plant (Huang et al., 1983).

Myzus persicae, a vector of pawpaw ringspot virus and many other virus diseases, has been shown to replicate on A. sessilis in laboratory tests (Hsieh and Hwang, 1986).

A. sessilis is used in folk medicine in southeast Asia, and is also a popular leafy vegetable.

Environmental Impact

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A. sessilis is an environmental and agricultural weed and an invasive plant principally in wetlands.  Under favorable conditions, it grows forming pure stands of dense, interwoven stems that smother aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats; block irrigation ditches and dams; replace native vegetation; and interfere with crops and pastures in low-lying, poorly drained areas.  

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Transportation disruption
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition (unspecified)
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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A. sessilis is a popular leafy vegetable, and is used as a folk medicine plant in southeast Asia (Gunasekara, 2008). Juice of the plant is an ingredient in medicinal hair oils (Gupta, 2014). The species also serves as good ground cover and fodder.

Uses List

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Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Mature A. sessilis is quite similar to the highly invasive A. philoxeroides, but the latter is a perennial and the clusters of flowers are carried on distinct peduncles. The similarity of the species is such that Sri Lankan community members living in Australia have been reported as mistakenly growing A. philoxeroides when intending to cultivate A. sessilis as a vegetable (Gunasekera, 2008).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Hand Weeding

A. sessilis is removed by hand weeding in rice fields in Taiwan as other cultural practices are ineffective against this perennial weed (Chiang and Leu, 1981).

Chemical Control

A. sessilis can be controlled using amitrole, and repetitive applications of 2,4-D and MCPA are also moderately effective against this weed (Soerjani et al., 1987). Ampong-Nyarko and de Datta (1991) list A. sessilis as susceptible to bensulfuron, 2,4-D, MCPA, oxadiazon and propanil but resistant to fenoxaprop and piperophos. It is also susceptible to butachlor (Parker, 1992).

Utilization of Weeds

An alternative method of controlling A. sessilis is through the utilization of the weed by farmers. Young shoots and leaves of the weed are harvested as vegetables in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines and Indo-China. It also serves as good ground cover and fodder. The weed can be used as a decoction to relieve diarrhoea, dysentery and refrigerant fever and can be made into poultices for application to wounds and sores, and to relieve inflammation. Medicated lotions may also be produced from A. sessilis for treatment of beri-beri and fever, and infusions of the weed can be taken internally for fever and inflammation of the intestines (Burkill, 1966; Soewardi et al., 1982; Pancho and Obien, 1983).

For further information on the control of A. sessilis in Australia, see Parsons (1973).

References

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Distribution References

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25/11/14 Updated by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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