Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Derris elliptica (tuba root).

Abstract

Derris elliptica is a large and fast-growing climber that is cultivated primarily across tropical regions of the world for its roots, which are used as fish poison and as the source of the natural insecticide rotenone. This species is adapted to a wide range of climates and soil types and spreads sexually by seed and vegetatively by stem fragments. It has successfully escaped from cultivation to become naturalized principally in disturbed areas and secondary forests. D. elliptica often behaves as an aggressive weed and, once established, climbs over other trees and shrubs forming a dense canopy that smothers vegetation, fences, forests, pastures, plantations and cultivated land. D. elliptica is now listed as invasive in Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Palau, Japan and Cuba.