Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Xanthium spinosum
(bathurst burr)

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Datasheet

Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 10 December 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Xanthium spinosum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • bathurst burr
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • X. spinosum is a highly invasive plant classified as one of the world’s worst weeds, and is now widely distributed throughout many regions of the world, where it is a common agricultural and pasture weed and a declared noxious species in...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit. Australia. April 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionXanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit. Australia. April 2007.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit. Australia. April 2007.
HabitXanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit. Australia. April 2007.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit, showing leaves and spines. Australia. November  2006.
TitleLeaves and spines
CaptionXanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit, showing leaves and spines. Australia. November 2006.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit, showing leaves and spines. Australia. November  2006.
Leaves and spinesXanthium spinosum (bathurst burr); habit, showing leaves and spines. Australia. November 2006.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Xanthium spinosum L.

Preferred Common Name

  • bathurst burr

Other Scientific Names

  • Acanthoxanthium spinosum (L.) Fourr.
  • Xanthium ambrosioides Hook. & Arn.
  • Xanthium catharticum Kunth

International Common Names

  • English: bathurst burr; dagger cocklebur; daggerweed; prickly burweed; spiny burweed; spiny clotburr; spiny cocklebur; thorny burweed
  • Spanish: cachurerra menor; cadillo; pegotes
  • French: lampourde épineuse
  • Portuguese: carrapichao; gatinhos; pica-tres

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: carrapicho-de-Santa-Helena; espinho de carneiro
  • Chile: abrojo; cepacaballo; clonqui; concli
  • Germany: Dornige Spitzklette
  • Iran: burweed
  • Italy: Lappola spinosa
  • Namibia: spiny cocklebur
  • Netherlands: gedoornde Stekelnoot
  • South Africa: boetebos
  • Sweden: tistelgullfro
  • USA: cocklebur; spiny clotbur; spiny cocklebur

EPPO code

  • XANSP (Xanthium spinosum)

Summary of Invasiveness

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X. spinosum is a highly invasive plant classified as one of the world’s worst weeds, and is now widely distributed throughout many regions of the world, where it is a common agricultural and pasture weed and a declared noxious species in many countries. Originating in South America, it has spread widely, probably via its spiked seeds which attach to animals and clothing or are a contaminant of hay or other products. It produces prolific amounts of seed that germinate easily. X. spinosum can quickly dominate large areas, outcompeting crops, forage plants and native flora. Control is possible but requires significant effort. There is considerable ongoing research into various methods including biological control.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Asterales
  •                         Family: Asteraceae
  •                             Genus: Xanthium
  •                                 Species: Xanthium spinosum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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X. spinosum is one of only two accepted species of Xanthium, the other being X. strumarium. The many other reported species in the literature were brought into synonymy by Love and Dansereau (1959). X. strumarium is a very variable species whereas X. spinosum is more homogeneous throughout its range. It is thought that the two species can hybridize. Although native to South America, the type specimen for X. spinosum is from Portugal.

Xanthium comes from the Greek word xanthos meaning the colour yellow and is thought to refer to the yellow dye extracted from some taxa (Parsons, 1973). The plant is known by a number of common names, of which Bathurst burr, spiny cocklebur, cocklebur and spiny clotbur are often seen in the English language literature. However, cocklebur is also sometimes used to refer to X. strumarium.

Description

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Adapted from Pitcher (1989):

X. spinosum is a much branched annual herb, generally erect and somewhat woody, often 0.3-0.6 m in height, but sometimes up to 1 m tall and 1.5 m across. Stems are striate, yellowish or brownish grey and finely pubescent. True leaves are lanceolate, entire, irregularly toothed or lobed, mostly three-lobed with the center lobe much longer than the other two, 3-8 cm long, 0.6-2.6 cm wide. They are hairy (glabrous or strigose) and a dull grey-green colour above, and paler and downy (silvery-tomentulose) beneath, with a conspicuous white midrib, and each on short petioles approximately 1 cm long. Each leaf base is armed at the axil with three-pronged yellow spines usually up to 2.5 cm long, often opposite in pairs.

Flower heads are in axillary clusters or solitary. Flowers are inconspicuous, greenish, and monoecious; male flowers in almost globular heads in axils of upper most leaves, and female flowers in axils of lower leaves, developing into a burr. The burr is two-celled, oblong, nearly egg-shaped, slightly flattened, 10-13 mm long, 4 mm wide, pale yellowish to brown covered with yellowish hairs, more or less striate, glandular, covered with numerous slender, hooked, glabrous spines up to 3 mm long from more or less thickened bases, with the two apical beaks short and straight. Each burr contains two flattened, thick-coated, dark brown or black seeds, about 1 cm long, the lower germinating first.

Plant Type

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Annual
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

Distribution

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There appears to be disagreement over the native range of X. spinosum, though it is certain to have originated from South America. Some sources have suggested Chile, whereas others suggest a broader area that also includes at least Argentina, and possibly also other countries, which may be more probable. The native range proposed by USDA-ARS (2013) is used here, which includes Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and southern Brazil, though it also confirms that the limits of native range are obscure. Pitcher (1989) stated that X. spinosum had been introduced to at least 39 countries, though records for many more are available and the real figure may be higher still. It is widely distributed in the Mediterranean region, Europe, Australia, parts of Africa, South America and North America, though is only rarely found in the tropics (Holm et al., 1977).

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: 17 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroducedInvasive
BotswanaPresentIntroduced
EgyptPresentIntroducedInvasive
EritreaPresentIntroduced
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
LesothoPresentIntroduced
LibyaPresentIntroduced
MauritiusPresentIntroduced
MoroccoPresentIntroduced
NamibiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveCentral and eastern regions
RéunionPresentIntroduced
South AfricaPresentIntroduced
ZimbabwePresentNative

Asia

AfghanistanPresentIntroduced
ArmeniaPresentIntroduced
AzerbaijanPresentIntroduced
ChinaPresentIntroduced
-BeijingPresentIntroduced
-HenanPresentIntroduced
-XinjiangPresentInvasive
GeorgiaPresentIntroduced
IndiaPresentIntroduced
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroduced1994First record, in the Nilgiri mountains
IranPresentIntroducedInvasiveReported weed in Tabriz
IsraelPresentIntroduced
JapanPresentIntroduced
JordanPresentIntroduced
KazakhstanPresentIntroduced
KyrgyzstanPresentIntroduced
LebanonPresentIntroduced
NepalPresentIntroduced
Saudi ArabiaPresentIntroduced
SyriaPresentIntroduced
TajikistanPresentIntroduced
TurkeyPresentIntroduced
TurkmenistanPresentIntroduced
UzbekistanPresentIntroduced
YemenPresentIntroduced

Europe

AlbaniaPresentIntroduced
AustriaPresentIntroduced
BelgiumPresentIntroduced
BulgariaPresentIntroduced
CroatiaPresentIntroduced
CzechiaPresentIntroduced
CzechoslovakiaPresentIntroduced
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresentIntroduced
DenmarkPresentIntroduced
FinlandPresentIntroduced
FrancePresentIntroduced
GermanyPresentIntroduced
GreecePresentIntroduced
HungaryPresentIntroduced
ItalyPresentIntroduced
LuxembourgPresentIntroduced
MoldovaPresentIntroduced
NetherlandsPresentIntroduced
North MacedoniaPresentIntroduced
NorwayPresentIntroduced
PolandPresentIntroduced
PortugalPresentIntroduced
-AzoresPresentIntroduced
RomaniaPresentIntroduced
RussiaPresentIntroduced
-Central RussiaPresentIntroducedEuropean part
-Eastern SiberiaPresentTyumen
-Northern RussiaPresentIntroducedEuropean part
-Russian Far EastPresentIntroducedPrimoye
-Southern RussiaPresentIntroducedEuropean part
-Western SiberiaPresentAltay
SlovakiaPresentIntroduced
SpainPresentIntroduced
-Balearic IslandsPresentIntroduced
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroduced
SwedenPresentIntroduced
SwitzerlandPresentIntroduced
UkrainePresentIntroduced
United KingdomPresentIntroduced

North America

CanadaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New BrunswickPresentIntroduced
-OntarioPresentIntroduced
-QuebecPresentIntroduced
-SaskatchewanPresentIntroduced
MexicoPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ArizonaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ColoradoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedInvasive
-DelawarePresentIntroducedInvasive
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-FloridaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-IdahoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedInvasive
-IndianaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-IowaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-KansasPresentIntroducedInvasive
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MainePresentIntroducedInvasive
-MarylandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MichiganPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MississippiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MissouriPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MontanaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-NebraskaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-NevadaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New HampshirePresentIntroducedInvasive
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New YorkPresentIntroducedInvasive
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-OhioPresentIntroducedInvasive
-OregonPresentIntroducedInvasive
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-TennesseePresentIntroducedInvasive
-TexasPresentIntroducedInvasive
-UtahPresentIntroducedInvasive
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-WashingtonPresentIntroducedInvasive
-West VirginiaPresentIntroducedInvasive

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedInvasive
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-South AustraliaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedEastern parts of the state
-TasmaniaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced
-VictoriaPresent, WidespreadIntroduced
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced
FijiPresentIntroducedViti Levu Island
KiribatiPresentIntroducedTeraina (Washington) Island
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedInvasiveEastern New Guinea Island

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeInvasive
BoliviaPresentNative
BrazilPresentNative
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNative
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative
ChilePresentNative
ColombiaPresent
EcuadorPresentNative
ParaguayPresentNative
PeruPresentNative
UruguayPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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There are limited records regarding dates of introduction, though considering the ease of accidental introduction, X. spinosum seed may have started spreading a long time ago, following trade in livestock and other agricultural and forage commodities. Gardener and Meadley (1947) noted that it had only recently appeared in Western Australia, though it may have already been present elsewhere in Australia long before this. The first record in India appears to be in the Nilgiri Hills area of Tamil Nadu in 1994, and the first record in Xinjiang province in western China was in 2009. X. spinosum continues to spread.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Tamil Nadu   No No Baburaj et al. (1994) Noted in the Niligiri mountains
Western Australia early 1940s No No Gardner and Meadly (1947) Noted as 'recently apprearing' in 1947
Xinjiang 2009 No No Song et al. (2012)

Risk of Introduction

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X. spinosum has all the attributes that make accidental introduction very likely, and it has already been introduced to so many countries it is likely to spread further. Noting its recent arrival in western China, further spread into Central Asia may be expected in the future, for example.

Habitat

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X. spinosum can be found growing in a wide variety of habitats. Holm et al. (1977) described X. spinosum as mainly a pasture or meadow weed, growing along roads and in disturbed areas and abandoned fields, also being sometimes common around waterholes and along floodplains, canals, ditches, creek flats, river terraces, and other moist places. It can also be common weed in cultivated fields, stock yards and abandoned settlements. In New Zealand it is noted in ‘waste places, coastal sites, pasture, cultivated land, gardens’ (PIER, 2013), whereas in Namibia, light to moderate infestations are observed along rivers and in disturbed agricultural areas such as cattle pens (Bethune et al., 2004). In Australia Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992) state its wide distribution is due in part to its ability to adapt to a range of climatic conditions and to thrive where the soil has been disturbed, allowing it to grow in pasture, wasteland, sheep camps, as well as coastal areas, watercourses, dam banks and floodplains. Where it is recently invasive in western China, it is also reported to occur in desert grassland and oases (Song et al., 2012).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedIndustrial / intensive livestock production systems Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalArid regions Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

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X. spinosum is recorded as a weed of cotton, maize, mungbean, sorghum, soyabean, sugarbeet, sugarcane, sunflower and tomatoes, as well as many other annual and perennial crops.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Beta vulgaris (beetroot)ChenopodiaceaeMain
    Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
      Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
        Helianthus annuus (sunflower)AsteraceaeMain
          SaccharumPoaceaeMain
            Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
              SorghumPoaceaeMain
                Vigna radiata (mung bean)FabaceaeMain
                  Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeMain

                    Biology and Ecology

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                    Genetics

                    Both species of Xanthium are tetraploid with a chromosome number of 2n=36 (Love and Dansereau, 1959). Mitch (1987) provided detailed information on the origin, taxonomy, biology, identification, utilization, distribution and spread of both X. spinosum and X. strumarium. Both species may set seed without fertilization of the ovule, resulting in local populations where plants are genetically similar and may also differ only slightly from other populations.

                    Reproductive Biology

                    X. spinosum prefers moist soil and so seeds tend to germinate in late spring to late summer after early rains. Emergence can occur from spring until late autumn, and new fruits (or burrs) are produced two to three months after germination and emergence (Pitcher, 1989). Burrs have two elongated cavities, each containing a single seed, and an average of 150 seeds are produced by each plant.

                    The two seeds, however, have different characteristics. The lower of the two seeds has a shorter dormancy period, typically germinating a few months after maturity, whereas the upper seed can remain dormant for as long as eight years (Pitcher, 1989). This difference in dormancy may be due to site- and season-specific reasons (Auld, 1993), although the relative permeability of the seed coat to oxygen may also contribute, and high temperatures (32-38°C) can also overcome dormancy (Pitcher, 1989). Seed dormancy was not affected by partial fruit coat removal (Auld, 1993).

                    Optimal seedling emergence occurred when seeds were buried at depths of 1-4 cm, and was significantly reduced when buried to depths of 8 cm and deeper, and seeds in fruits placed on the soil surface failed to emerge entirely (Auld, 1993). In controlled environment studies and in the field, flowering was found to depend on day length, with flowering time decreasing with decreasing day length. Auld (1993) concluded that seed dormancy, the wide amplitude of seasonal emergence, the ability to flower quickly in cohorts and the ability of seed to germinate towards the end of the growing season could all potentially contribute to this plant’s success. Most plants die in the late autumn or early winter due to frost.

                    Associations

                    In the USA, Xanthium species are sometimes found growing with Arctium species, a European immigrant weed genus common in the USA.

                    Environmental Requirements

                    X. spinosum has proved remarkably adaptable to a wide range of climates and other environmental conditions, with the exception only of very cold polar/tundra conditions and very hot and dry or moist lowland tropical climates. In tropical regions it is generally only found at high altitudes. It appears to show no specific requirements regarding soil type.

                    Climate

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                    ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
                    As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
                    Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 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
                    C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
                    Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
                    Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
                    Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
                    D - Continental/Microthermal climate Preferred Continental/Microthermal climate (Average temp. of coldest month < 0°C, mean warmest month > 10°C)
                    Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
                    Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Preferred Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
                    Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Preferred Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

                    Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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                    Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
                    50 43

                    Rainfall Regime

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                    Bimodal
                    Summer
                    Uniform
                    Winter

                    Soil Tolerances

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                    Soil drainage

                    • free
                    • impeded

                    Soil reaction

                    • acid
                    • neutral

                    Soil texture

                    • heavy
                    • light
                    • medium

                    Special soil tolerances

                    • infertile
                    • shallow

                    Natural enemies

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                    Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
                    Chondrostereum orbiculare Pathogen
                    Colletotrichum coccodes Pathogen
                    Colletotrichum dematium Pathogen
                    Colletotrichum orbiculare Pathogen Australia
                    Puccinia xanthii Pathogen

                    Means of Movement and Dispersal

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                    The fruit can be widely dispersed in a wide variety of ways. The fruits float and are readily dispersed by water and can spread rapidly along watercourses. The hooked spines on the fruit adhere easily and cling firmly to wool and animal fur, as well as also to clothing, bags and any fibrous material, hay bales, and also in mud on shoes, tools or vehicles. Fruits are also spread in contaminated pasture seed and grain (PIER, 2013).

                    Plant Trade

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                    Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
                    True seeds (inc. grain)

                    Impact Summary

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                    CategoryImpact
                    Economic/livelihood Negative
                    Environment (generally) Negative

                    Impact

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                    X. spinosum is a highly invasive weed that is capable of growing under a range of environmental conditions. It readily establishes in cultivated land, pastures, meadows and riverbanks and can threaten native or endemic wildlife (Pitcher, 1989). Being highly invasive, X. spinosum can compete both directly and indirectly with native species, alter habitats and, when present on river banks, can increase soil erosion and affect water flow and quality.

                    It competes with agricultural crops such as soybeans and cotton, leading to a drastically reduced yields (Auld et al., 1999), and infestations in soybeans have been reported to cause severe yield losses of 60-70% (Mirshekari and Siyami, 2013). Furthermore, burrs can contaminate wool and other material due to their hooked spines, potentially affecting export.

                    In the seedling stage, X. spinosum is poisonous as the seeds contain hydroquinone. Plants at the cotyledon stage are also toxic as well as palatable to livestock, and plant parts remain toxic even after drying, though toxicity decreases rapidly as the first true-leaves develop (Mitch, 1987). The plant can be especially poisonous to pigs and horses (Pitcher, 1989). Ingestion of cotyledons to 0.75-1.5% of an animal's body weight causes toxicity within 12-48 hours, symptoms being nausea, vomiting, lassitude, depression, weakened muscles and prostration. Severe poisoning can result in convulsions and spasmodic running movements, and death may occur within a few hours or days. Fatty substances such as milk, lard or linseed oil have been recommended as antidotes (Pilcher, 1989).

                    Observations showed that X. spinosum is also an important interim host of broomrape (Orobanche/Phelipanche ramosa) (Wilhelm and Benson, 1955). Additionally, the weed can act as a host for a number of fungal diseases of plants including Sclerotina minor

                    X. spinosum is a declared noxious weed in 46 states of the USA (USDA-NRCS, 2013), including being a noxious weed in Arkansas, a Class B noxious weed in Oregon and a Class C noxious weed in Washington.

                    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
                    • Pioneering in disturbed areas
                    • Highly mobile locally
                    • Fast growing
                    • Has high reproductive potential
                    • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
                    Impact outcomes
                    • Damaged ecosystem services
                    • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
                    • Modification of hydrology
                    • Modification of successional patterns
                    • Monoculture formation
                    • Negatively impacts agriculture
                    • Negatively impacts animal health
                    • Negatively impacts livelihoods
                    • Reduced native biodiversity
                    • Threat to/ loss of native species
                    • Damages animal/plant products
                    • Negatively impacts trade/international relations
                    Impact mechanisms
                    • Allelopathic
                    • Competition - monopolizing resources
                    • Pest and disease transmission
                    • Interaction with other invasive species
                    • Poisoning
                    • Rapid growth
                    • Produces spines, thorns or burrs
                    Likelihood of entry/control
                    • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
                    • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
                    • Difficult/costly to control

                    Uses

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                    The only recorded uses for X. spinosum are medicinal, as a diuretic. Plant extracts are used in popular medicine in Argentina (Amorin and Orfila, 1972).

                    Uses List

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                    Materials

                    • Poisonous to mammals

                    Medicinal, pharmaceutical

                    • Traditional/folklore

                    Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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                    X. spinosum differs from X. strumarium by having much narrower leaves that taper at both ends, shorter petioles, conspicuous three-pronged spines at the leaf base and ovoid burrs covered with hooked thorns.

                    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.

                    Cultural Control

                    Due to the burrs adhering to wool, the risk of transferring seed to new areas can be reduced by shearing sheep before moving them from infected to clean pastures (Nursey, 1959). In Australia, X. spinosum is one of the most serious weeds spread by livestock, which carry burrs from one centre to another, so early recognition is essential for effective control (Gardner, 1942). Due to its toxicity and unpalatability, grazing is not a useful control method.

                    Physical/Mechanical Control

                    Control is possible by early mowing, cultivation or crop rotation, or by cutting and burning before the burrs ripen. As this annual weed spreads entirely by seed, it can be relatively easily controlled by cultivation on arable land, and on pastures. Eradication should aim to prevent seed development for at least three years (Orchard, 1949; Parsons, 1973). Single plants can be easily pulled out or hoed. If removal is done after flowering, it is important to burn the plants to ensure that the seeds are completely destroyed (Pitcher, 1989). Due to the long dormancy of the seeds, periodic repeated physical control will be required.

                    Chemical Control

                    The most common type of chemicals used to control X. spinosum are the broad-leaf selective herbicides. Young plants are easily killed by one application of 2,4-D or MCPA applied to healthy, growing, non-flowering plants, whereas older plants need more than one application (Meadley, 1956; Orchard, 1949). The most effective time for the application of 2,4-D is reported to be at the 3-5 leaf stage of growth, when it is able to better penetrate the waxy coat on the leaves (Pitcher, 1989), or before the flowering stage in February-March (Nursey, 1959). Imazaquin is also reported to be effective (Weber, 2003), and in irrigated soyabeans in New South Wales, Australia, imazaquin gave significantly more control of X. spinosum than bentazone, but did not control X. spinosum when applied after the formation of the 3 pronged spines (Andrews, 1993). However, Andrews (1993) considered that imazaquin provided the greater season-long control and was therefore the preferred herbicide.

                    Biological Control

                    The potential of using insects as a biological control agent has been assessed in Australia, India, Pakistan and United States, but with limited success (Pitcher, 1989). Investigations were conducted into the possibility of biological control by infection with the fungus Colletotrichum xanthii, a fungus which causes stem lesions (Orchard, 1949). The rust Puccinia xanthii was also found to attack several parts of the plant, reducing plant transpiration, burr production and seed germination (Pitcher, 1989).

                    The most effective mycoherbicide to date is Colletotrichum orbiculare. It can be applied in a similar way to herbicide applications and causes leaf and stem lesions, killing the plant in just 14 days under optimal conditions (Auld et al, 1988; 1990). Auld et al. (1990) undertook field applications of aqueous spore suspensions of 106 or 107 spores/ml at four sites, including a dryland pasture, an irrigated soyabean field and two sites where the effect of artificial dew was assessed using X. spinosum in pots in the field. Effectiveness was 50-100%, with the best results (98-100%) on the dryland grazing site. Providing an artificial dew period of 18 hours resulted in 100% mortality compared to only 50% under the natural dew period of 0.3 hours, with effectiveness correlated to humidity levels. It was considered that the formulation of a C. orbiculare spore suspension into a product with a low evaporation rate could play a significant role controlling X. spinosum (Auld et al., 1990).

                    Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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                    X. spinosum has not been studied as thoroughly as X. strumarium. Further research is required regarding effective cultural and biological control.

                    References

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                    Song ZhenZhen, Tan DunYan, Zhou GuiLing, 2012. Distribution and community characteristics of invasive Xanthium spinosum in Xinjiang. Acta Botanica Boreali-Occidentalia Sinica, 32(7):1448-1453. http://xbzwxb.nwsuaf.edu.cn

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                    Distribution References

                    Baburaj D S, Britto S J, Michael P, 1994. Xanthium spinosum L.- a new record for Tamil Nadu. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany. 18 (1), 235-238.

                    Beshr S M, Badr S A, Ahmad A A, Mohamed G H, 2016. New record of host plants of invasive mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Tinsley, 1898), (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Alexandria and Behaira governorates. Journal of Entomology. 13 (4), 155-160. http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=je.2016.155.160&org=10

                    Bethune S, Griffin M, Joubert D F, 2004. National Review of Invasive Alien Species, Namibia. Windhoek, Namibia: Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

                    Bükün B, 2005. Weed flora changes in cotton growing areas during the last decade after irrigation of Harran plain in ?anliurfa, Turkey. Pakistan Journal of Botany. 37 (3), 667-672. http://www.pjbot.org

                    CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

                    Chatzivassiliou E K, Boubourakas I, Drossos E, Eleftherohorinos I, Jenser G, Peters D, Katis N I, 2001. Weeds in greenhouses and tobacco fields are differentially infected by Tomato spotted wilt virus and infested by its vector species. Plant Disease. 85 (1), 40-46. DOI:10.1094/PDIS.2001.85.1.40

                    Du ZhenZhu, Xu WenBin, Yan Ping, Wang ShaoShan, Guo YiMin, 2012. Three newly recorded alien invasive plants of Xanthium in Xinjiang. Xinjiang Agricultural Sciences. 49 (5), 879-886. http://www.xjnykx.periodicals.com.cn

                    El-Metwally I M, Ahmed S A, 2001. Growth, yield and yield components of mungbean as affected by phosphorus levels and some weed control treatments. Annals of Agricultural Science, Moshtohor. 39 (2), 787-803.

                    Gardner C A, Meadly G R W, 1947. Bathurst burr. A serious noxious weed. Journal of the Department of Agriculture for Western Australia. 161-5.

                    GBIF, 2013. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. http://www.gbif.org/species

                    Hassannejad S, Ghafarbi S P, 2013. Weed flora survey of Tabriz wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) fields. Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES). 3 (9), 118-132. http://www.innspub.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/JBES-Vol3No9-p118-132.pdf

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                    Holm L R G, Plucknett D L, Pancho J V, Herberger J P, 1977. The world's worst weeds. Distribution and biology. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University Press of Hawaii. 621 pp.

                    Istilart C M, 2005. Weed survey in sunflower in central-southern Buenos Aires province. In: XVII Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Malezas (ALAM) I Congreso Iberoamericano de Ciencia de las Malezas, IV Congreso Nacional de Ciencia de Malezas, Matanzas, Cuba, 8 al 11 de noviembre del 2005 [XVII Congreso de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Malezas (ALAM) I Congreso Iberoamericano de Ciencia de las Malezas, IV Congreso Nacional de Ciencia de Malezas, Matanzas, Cuba, 8 al 11 de noviembre del 2005.], Matanzas, Cuba: Asociación Latinoamericana de Malezas (ALAM). 712-713.

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                    Mirshekari B, Siyami R, 2013. Determination of the best weeds control period in a soybean (Glycine max) new released hybrid: Williams. International Journal of Biosciences (IJB). 3 (6), 45-48. http://www.innspub.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/IJB-V3No6-p45-48.pdf

                    Missouri Botanical Garden, 2013. Tropicos database., St Louis, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

                    Olano I, Alonso Paz E, Cerdeíras M P, Fernández J, Ferreira F, Moyna P, Soubes M, Vázquez A, Vero S, Bassagoda M J, 1996. Screening of Uruguayan medicinal plants for antimicrobial activity. Part II. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 53 (2), 111-115. DOI:10.1016/0378-8741(96)01428-6

                    PIER, 2013. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

                    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2013. Flora Europaea, Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)., Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/FE/fe.html

                    Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2013. Australia's Virtual Herbarium., Sydney, Australia: Royal Botanic Gardens. http://avh.chah.org.au/

                    Song ZhenZhen, Tan DunYan, Zhou GuiLing, 2012. Distribution and community characteristics of invasive Xanthium spinosum in Xinjiang. Acta Botanica Boreali-Occidentalia Sinica. 32 (7), 1448-1453. http://xbzwxb.nwsuaf.edu.cn

                    USDA-ARS, 2013. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

                    USDA-NRCS, 2013. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

                    Vuković N, Miletić M, Milović M, Jelaska S D, 2014. Grime's CSR strategies of the invasive plants in Croatia. Periodicum Biologorum. 116 (3), 323-329. http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=199334

                    Witt A, Luke Q, 2017. Guide to the naturalized and invasive plants of Eastern Africa. [ed. by Witt A, Luke Q]. Wallingford, UK: CABI. vi + 601 pp. http://www.cabi.org/cabebooks/ebook/20173158959 DOI:10.1079/9781786392145.0000

                    Links to Websites

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                    WebsiteURLComment
                    GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
                    Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

                    Contributors

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                    13/11/13 Original text by:

                    Nick Pasiecznik, consultant, France

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