Anredera cordifolia (Basellaceae), a new invasive plant for Iran.
Anredera cordifolia (Ten.) Steenis, commonly known as the Madeira-vine belongs to the small family Basellaceae is reported as an invasive weed in the gardens and forests of the north of Iran (Fig. 1). Characteristic features of the said plants are as follows: Plant perennial, evergreen, climbing vine or liana that grows from fleshy rhizomes. Stems slender, climbing, up to 3-6 m in height in a single growing season. Leaves bright green and shiny, 2-13 cm long and 1-11 cm wide, oval or heart-shaped, broadly ovate, often involute, sometimes lanceolate; apex obtuse, subsessile or with a 1.5-2 cm long petiole, commonly with irregular tubers in their axils. The potato-like tubers, produced on aerial stems covered in warts, are specific and typical in identifying the plant, but can grow to 25 cm in diameter. Masses of fragrant, cream flowers occur on simple or 2-4-branched racemes, pendent, up to 18 cm long, excluding the common peduncle, up to 30 cm, with numerous small, white, fragrant flowers. Pedicels 2-3 mm long. The five tepals are 2-3 mm long and elliptic-oblong to broadly elliptic. Filaments narrow-triangular, widely divergent, bending outwards near base. Utricle and seed not seen. Proliferation is usually done by the glandular tubers on the stem and rhizomes. The plant is native of South America. The greenhouse and experimental cultures of this plant showed high adaptability in the Department of Botany, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Tehran, Iran. Unfortunately, until now, no information is available on how this plant entered to Iran. Forests, rangelands or fields near forest with average annual temperature of 15-30°C and average annual rainfall of 50-200 cm are optimal conditions for the growth and propagation of this plant. Basellaceae family is also reported here for the first time from Iran.