Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Buddleja asiatica
(dog tail)

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Datasheet

Buddleja asiatica (dog tail)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Buddleja asiatica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • dog tail
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • B. asiatica is native to eastern Asia and was introduced into Hawaii prior to 1908 where it has become widespread and locally abundant on all the main islands. B. asiatica isn’t as widely cultivated/na...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit at Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2007
TitleHabit
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit at Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2007
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit at Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2007
HabitBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit at Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January, 2007©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit in burn area. Helu West Maui, Maui. Hawaii, USA. February, 2010.
TitleHabit in burn area
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit in burn area. Helu West Maui, Maui. Hawaii, USA. February, 2010.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit in burn area. Helu West Maui, Maui. Hawaii, USA. February, 2010.
Habit in burn areaBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit in burn area. Helu West Maui, Maui. Hawaii, USA. February, 2010.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit, in disused macadamia nut orchards. Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit, in disused macadamia nut orchards. Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2007.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit, in disused macadamia nut orchards. Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2007.
HabitBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); habit, in disused macadamia nut orchards. Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2007.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads and foliage. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July 18, 2012
TitleSeedheads and foliage
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads and foliage. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July 18, 2012
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads and foliage. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July 18, 2012
Seedheads and foliageBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads and foliage. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July 18, 2012©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); flowers and leaves. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA.  July, 2012
TitleFlowers and leaves
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); flowers and leaves. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); flowers and leaves. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA.  July, 2012
Flowers and leavesBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); flowers and leaves. Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads at Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA.  July, 2012
TitleSeedheads
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads at Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads at Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA.  July, 2012
SeedheadsBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads at Hamakua Coast, Hawaii, USA. July, 2012©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA.  February, 2010.
TitleSeedheads
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2010.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA.  February, 2010.
SeedheadsBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February, 2010.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); close-up of seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, USA.  February, 2010.
TitleSeedheads, ripe and ripening
CaptionBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); close-up of seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, USA. February, 2010.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); close-up of seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, USA.  February, 2010.
Seedheads, ripe and ripeningBuddleja asiatica (dog tail, huelo ilio); close-up of seedheads, ripe and ripening. Helu, West Maui, Maui, USA. February, 2010.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Buddleja asiatica Lour.

Preferred Common Name

  • dog tail

International Common Names

  • English: asian butterfly bush; white butterfly bush; winter lilac
  • Chinese: bai bei feng

Summary of Invasiveness

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B. asiatica is native to eastern Asia and was introduced into Hawaii prior to 1908 where it has become widespread and locally abundant on all the main islands. B. asiatica isn’t as widely cultivated/naturalized compared to its congeners, possibly because it is less showy/desirable as an ornamental. The spread of B. asiatica is facilitated by its numerous tiny (0.3 mm) winged seeds that are dispersed in the wind and watercourses. In Hawaii, B. asiatica competes with several rare endemic plants such as those on wet windward cliffs (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1997; Wood and Oppenheimer, 2008). B. asiatica is naturalized in Guam and present in Australia, but its impacts are unclear or yet to be fully realized (PIER, 2013). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Gentianales
  •                         Family: Loganiaceae
  •                             Genus: Buddleja
  •                                 Species: Buddleja asiatica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The Plant List (2013) lists 20 synonyms of B. asiatica. Most published synonyms are from the early 1800s and therefore no modern phylogenetic studies call into question the validity of the taxon (Kay et al., 2008). The position of Buddleja at the family level has been given as Scrophulariaceae, Buddlejaceae (Oxelman and Bremer, 1999), and Loganiaceae (Moore, 1949); current thinking places it in Scrophulariaceae (The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, 2003).

Description

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Shrubs or small trees, 1-8 m tall; young branchlets, leaves abaxially, petioles, and inflorescences spiciform densely stellate pubescent/tomentose or woolly with white, gray, or tawny hairs. Branchlets terete or subterete. Leaves opposite, sometimes alternate towards branchlet apex. Petiole 2-15 mm; leaf blade narrowly to very narrowly elliptic never abruptly narrowed or cordate, 6-30 X 1-7 cm, adaxially stellate pubescent or glabrous, base cuneate to decurrent, margin subentire or remotely serrate-dentate, apex acuminate, lateral veins 10-14 pairs. Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, 1-3 or more seemingly racemose cymes together, 5-25 X 0.7-2 cm; bracteoles linear. Pedicel to 2 mm. Calyx campanulate, 1.5-4.5 mm; lobes triangular, outside stellate pubescent or tomentose, inside glabrous. Corolla straight (not curved) white, rarely pale violet or greenish; tube 2.5-4.8 mm, outside densely to sparsely stellate pubescent; lobes suborbicular, 1-1.7 X 1-1.5 mm, spreading. Stamens inserted above middle of corolla tube to nearly at mouth, included; anthers oblong. Ovary ovoid to narrowly ovoid, 1-1.5 X 0.8-1 mm, glabrous or scaly. Style short; stigma capitate. Capsules ellipsoid, 3-5 X 1.5-3 mm, glabrous or sparsely and minutely scaly. Seeds pale brown, elliptic, 0.8-1 X 0.3-0.4 mm, short winged at both ends. Fl. Jan-Oct; fr. Mar-Dec (Li and Leeuwenberg, 1996).

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Woody

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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

BangladeshPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
BhutanPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
CambodiaPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FujianPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-GuangdongPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-GuangxiPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-GuizhouPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-HainanPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-HebeiPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-JiangxiPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-ShaanxiPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-SichuanPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-TibetPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
-YunnanPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
East TimorPresentCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2013
IndiaPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
IndonesiaPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
LaosPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
MalaysiaPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
MyanmarPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
NepalPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
PakistanPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
PhilippinesPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996; Pelser et al., 2013
SingaporePresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive Chong et al., 2009
TaiwanPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
ThailandPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996
VietnamPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1997; Wagner et al., 1999; Motooka et al., 2003; Wood and Oppenheimer, 2008; Imada, 2012Impacting on threatened species

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedGroves et al., 2003Identified as potential invader
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeLi and Leeuwenberg, 1996

History of Introduction and Spread

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B. asiatica was first recorded in Hawaii in 1908 and has now been recorded on all islands (first recorded on Oahu, Molokai, and Hawaii, and more recently Maui, Lanai and Kauai (Wester, 1992; Wagner et al., 1999; Oppenheimer and Bartlett, 2002; Wood and Oppenheimer, 2008). The introduction of B. asiatica into Hawaii was most likely human mediated and intentional; as an ornamental, for use as either a medicinal plant or for perfume, or associated with Asian immigration to the islands (Houghton, 1984; Wester, 1992; Li and Leeuwenberg, 1996; Imada, 2012). The means of dispersal of B. asiatica between the Hawaiian islands is unclear but is most likely linked to the regular movement of goods, ornamental plants, construction equipment and vehicles between islands (or intentional planting) (Frohlich and Lau, 2007).

Stuart (2006) states that B. asiatica was intentionally introduced into the UK in 1874 and later awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

B. asiatica has been recorded in cultivation in Victoria, Australia, where it is regarded as a potential weed (Groves et al., 2003).

Risk of Introduction

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B. asiatica produces a large number of winged seeds that are easily dispersed by the wind and in watercourses. Long distance dispersal is believed to occur via human mediated actions such as the movement of goods, ornamental plants, construction equipment and vehicles. Given that B. asiatica is not currently used as an ornamental plant and that knowledge of its medicinal uses is limited, the risk of introduction into new areas is low. A risk assessment for Hawaii conducted by PIER (2013) however gives B. asiatica a high risk score of 9.

Habitat

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B. asiatica is versatile, occurring in disturbed habitats such as mesic to wet pastures, on lava and cinder, in wet forests, roadsides and waste areas throughout its native range at altitudes of 100-1200 m (Wester, 1992; Wagner et al., 1999Motooka et al., 2002).

Outside of its native range B. asiatica is mainly restricted to tropical or subtropical areas, occurring from sea level to more than 2000 m in altitude. B. asiatica is drought tolerant but more successful in wet sites (a facultative wetland plant).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Natural
Industrial / intensive livestock production systems Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Industrial / intensive livestock production systems Principal habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Wetlands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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B. asiatica is a weed associated with pineapple production and pastures in Hawaii (Wang et al., 2002; Motooka et al., 2003).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Ananas comosus (pineapple)BromeliaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Chromosome number: 2n=38 (Dunn and Lindstrom, 2007), hybrids in the genus are common and hybridization has been induced artificially (Moore, 1949; Lindstrom et al., 2004Dunn and Lindstrom, 2007).

Reproductive Biology

B. asiatica is insect pollinated. Gong et al. (2015) confirmed that the floral scent of B. asiatica is dominated by substances that attract certain large bees, which they have observed visiting the flowers. It is presumed to be self-infertile, as are other species in the genus. Bromus produces a large number of small wind dispersed seeds relatively quickly after germination and seedling establishment (Kay et al., 2008). Seeds may also be transported in watercourses (Säumel and Kowarik, 2010). B. asiatica can reproduce asexually by vegetative fragmentation.

Physiology and Phenology

Peñuelas et al. (2010a; 2010b) showed that B. asiatica has lower construction costs for its leaves, higher nitrogen allocation for photosynthesis and perhaps a more efficient method of capturing nutrients when compared to native taxa. They concluded that B. asiatica occupies a different geochemical niche to native species in Hawaii (Peñuelas et al., 2010a).

Associations

In its native range B. asiatica is known to co-occur with other Buddleja species such as B. crispa, B. macrostachya, B. myriantha and B. officinalis on Cangshan Mountain, near Dalizhen, Yunnan Province, China (Schreiter et al., 2011).

B. asiatica is highly mycotrophic; this has been offered as one factor that facilitates its invasiveness in Hawaii (Gemma and Koske, 1990; Koske et al., 1992; Dickie et al., 2007; Brundrett, 2009). A number of endophytic fungi have been identified from the twigs of B. asiatica in Nepal (Chhetri et al., 2013).

Environmental Requirements

B. asiatica can tolerate a broad range of soils but is regarded as a facultative wetland plant (USDA-NRCS, 2013). B. asiatica can cope well with any mesic site with a reasonable level of light but prefers disturbed sites such as muddy pig wallow areas, and wet cliffs, land slide areas and canopy gaps (Katie Cassel, Kokee Natural History Museum, Hawaii, personal communication, 2013).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cleopus japonicus Herbivore Leaves to genus Used in New Zealand for control of B. davidii. Does not provide good control for B. asiatica.

Notes on Natural Enemies

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In Hawaii, B. asiatica was associated with lower than expected levels of the nematode Rotylenchulus reniformis in fallow fields of pineapple where the potential for infestation is very high. This suggests that B. asiatica may have some anti-nematodal capability, or at least, is not a good host for R. reniformis (Wang et al., 2002).

The weevil Cleopus japonicus is used for the control of Buddleja davidii in New Zealand and has been shown to complete its development on nine of 12 Buddleja species, including B. asiatica. However, B. asiatica is not ranked as highly vulnerable to the weevil.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

B. asiatica produces a large number of tiny, winged seeds that are dispersed naturally in the wind.

Accidental Introduction

It is possible that seeds of B. asiatica may be transported by vehicles, construction equipment and inter-island movement of ornamental plants with their soils.

Intentional Introduction

B. asiatica may be introduced intentionally as an ornamental due to its sweet smelling flowers. Stuart (2006) states that B. asiatica was intentionally introduced into the UK in 1874 and later awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionInter-island movement of ornamental plants, farming equipment and vehicles etc. Yes Yes
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes Yes
HorticultureIn Hawaii inter-island movement of ornamental plants has been blamed for the movement of B. asiatica Yes Yes
Internet salesFor ornamental and medicinal purposes Yes Yes Plants for a Future, 2013
Landscape improvementIn Hawaii inter-island movement of ornamental plants has been blamed for the movement of B. asiatica Yes Yes
Medicinal use Yes Yes Plants for a Future, 2013
Nursery tradeFor use as medicinal plant or ornamental Yes Plants for a Future, 2013
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes
Seed tradeEspecially since the species is an ornamental and a medicinal plant Yes Yes Plants for a Future, 2013

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
MailEspecially since the species is an ornamental and a medicinal plant Yes Yes Plants for a Future, 2013
Water Yes Yes Säumel and Kowarik, 2010
WindNumerous tiny seeds are dispersed widely. Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

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Colonizationof B. asiatica alters the course of succession. It could also be argued that B. asiatica exacerbates the impacts of ungulates by quickly colonizing sites after they have caused disturbance and destruction through grazing.

B. asiatica forms dense thickets, and is rapidly spreading into wet forest and even lava and cinder substrate areas in Hawaii where it displaces native vegetation. B. asiatica was identified as an invader on the wet windward cliffs of Kauai where it competes with a number of rare and endangered species (USFWS, 2008), see Threatened Species table.

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Cyanea dolichopodaEX (IUCN red list: Extinct) EX (IUCN red list: Extinct); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Cyrtandra oenobarbata var. obovataUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Cyrtandra palikuUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Dubautia plantaginea subsp. magnifoliaUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Euphorbia remyi (Remy's sandmat)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered)HawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Lysimachia inikiUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Lysimachia venosaUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Platydesma rostrataCR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Pritchardia hardyi (Makaleha pritchardia)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthUSFWS, 2008
Stenogyne kauaulaensisUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - shading; Interaction with other invasive species; Rapid growthWood and Oppenheimer, 2008

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad 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)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

Buddleja species are traditionally used in folk medicine as a topical antiseptic and a diuretic (Houghton, 1984). Other reputed, and less reliable, properties include protecting the liver from toxic substances (El-Domiaty et al., 2009), and use as an abortive (Shah et al., 2009).

B. asiatica is also used in perfumes as it produces a sweet freesia-like fragrance (Li and Leeuwenberg, 1996).

B. asiatica may also be used as a fish poison (Mabberley, 1997).

Environmental Services

There is no indication that B. asiatica is cultivated for the purpose of providing fodder. However in Nepal, its native range, B. asiatica, is documented as a good incidental fodder for sheep and goats (Thapa et al., 1997).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Detection and Inspection

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The winged seeds of Buddleja species are reasonably distinctive, but are tiny and difficult to detect. Plant keys such as the Flora of China can be used for identification of whole plants (Li and Leeuwenberg, 1996).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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B. asiatica is morphologically similar to Buddleja myriantha; both species are in the same couplet. The distinguishing characters are that unlike B. asiatica, B. myriantha has a cylindrical inflorescence, lower branches exceed others, leaf blades are mostly serrate and the corolla is usually purple (Li and Leeuwenberg, 1996).

Prevention and Control

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Prevention

SPS Measures

B. asiatica was identified as potential weed for Australia and is banned from intentional introduction as part of the weed risk assessment protocol. Similarly it would likely not be accepted in New Zealand due to its high risk (Pheloung et al., 1999; Groves et al., 2003).

Eradication

Eradication of B. asiatica is notoriously difficult to achieve but if detected early it should be eradicated while feasible.

Control

Physical/Mechanical control

Hand pulling of B. asiatica seedlings is effective.

Movement Control

Hygiene of weed control equipment, vehicles generally and clothing may help to prevent the inadvertent spread of B. asiatica seeds. Preferential control of B. asiatica on windward slopes may be worthwhile to prevent the winged seeds from being transported on lift created by incoming winds. This method was recommended to control the spread of pine trees and could also be applicable to B. asiatica. (Buckley et al., 2005).

Biological Control

Host-specificity tests concluded that the biocontrol agent Cleopus japonicus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae), for the congener Buddleja davidii, was safe to release in New Zealand (Kay et al., 2008). This leaf feeding weevil proved capable of utilizing a few non-target plants within the same clade as Buddleja including B. asiatica but exhibited increased mortality and development times. In conclusion it is unlikely to be an effective agent against B. asiatica.

Grazing by goats may prevent seeding or establishment of B. asiatica.

Chemical Control

With thick stands and large bushes of B. asiatica girdling it at the base and applying a triclopyr ester, 10-20% in biodiesel provides effective control. For small plants 2% triclopyr amine in water used as a foliar application can be applied (Motooka et al., 2003). It is also susceptible to glyphosate and hormone-type herbicides (PIER, 2015).

IPM

After control efforts are completed desirable native species should be planted to prevent or slow the re-establishment of B. asiatica.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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The source of introduced plants of B. asiatica in Hawaii and the pattern of spread could be investigated by looking at the population and phylogeographic patterns using DNA sequencing.

References

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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.

Contributors

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05/09/2013 Original text by:

Christopher E. Buddenhagen, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida State University, Florida, USA

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