Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


People foraging (pathway cause)



People foraging (pathway cause)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Cause
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • People foraging (pathway cause)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • People foraging (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acacia mearnsii (black wattle) Yes Sankaran (2002)
Aeginetia indica (forest ghost flower)Not mentioned in references but foraging for medicinal purposes could be a possible cause of dispersal Yes
Alocasia cucullata (Chinese taro)Corms consumed by humans Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2019)
Alocasia macrorrhizos (giant taro) Yes Manner (2011)
Alternanthera bettzickiana (calico plant)Used as a vegetable. Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2016)
Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth)Leaves used as a vegetable and meal made from ground seed Yes Yes Ward et al. (2013)
Anredera vesicaria (Texas madeira vine)Tubers foraged for medicinal purposes. Yes Missouri Botanical Garden (2019)
Aphanomyces astaci Yes Oidtmann et al. (2005)
Asclepias curassavica (bloodflower)People sharing Yes
Avena barbata (slender oat)This is a wild oat species and has edible seed which could be spread while foraging Yes
Bactrocera zonata (peach fruit fly) Yes Yes
Bambusa vulgaris (common bamboo)Young shoots are edible Yes Yes Dransfield and Widjaja (1995)
Basella alba (malabar spinach)In some African countries people forage the leaves of plants growing near houses Yes Yes PROTA (2017)
Begonia nelumbiifolia (lilypad begonia)Reported as an edible plant in its native range in Mexico Yes Alonso-Castro et al. (2012)
Bergia capensis (white water fire)Possible as the seeds are used for traditional medicine and for ritual purposes Yes India Biodiversity Portal (2019); Oas et al. (2015)
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Not documented but possible Yes
Butia capitata (coquinho-azedo)Fruits and leaves foraged from natural populations by local communities Yes De Lima et al. (2011)
Callosciurus finlaysonii (Finlayson's squirrel) Yes Timmins and Duckworth (2008)
Canavalia gladiata (sword bean)Seeds consumed by humans Yes Yes PROTA (2019)
Ceratopteris thalictroides (watersprite)Used locally in Asia and Madagascar as a vegetable Yes PROTA (2020)
Channa marulius (bullseye snakehead) Yes Yes Courtenay and Williams (2004); Froese and Pauly (2009)
Cissus quadrangularis (treebine)In Asia, consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes PROSEA (2018)
Clidemia hirta (Koster's curse)Mud on footware Yes Peters (2001)
Cochliomyia hominivorax (New World screwworm)Very low risk Yes Yes
Cocos nucifera (coconut)Coconut kernel, coconut cream, coconut water, heart of the palm Yes Yes Chan and Elevitch (2006)
Coix lacryma-jobi (Job's-tears)Grains are eaten by humans and used as beads Yes Yes van den Bergh and Iamsupasit (1996); USDA-ARS (2017)
Colocasia esculenta (taro)Corms, stems and leaves are edible and planted for human consumption Yes Yes Safo-Kantaka (2004)
Cordia obliqua (clammy cherry)Fruits are consumed by humans Yes Yes Parmar and Kaushal (1982)
Cornu aspersum (common garden snail) Yes Yes
Corynocarpus laevigatus (karaka)Around New Zealand and to Chatham Islands Yes Yes Costall et al. (2006); Dieffenbach (1840)
Crassocephalum crepidioides (redflower ragleaf)Consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes Denton (2004)
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes
Crotalaria retusa (rattleweed)Seeds collected Yes Yes Prota4U (2013)
Cucumis anguria (West Indian gherkin)For its fruits Yes Yes Wilkins-Ellert (2004)
Cyclosorus parasiticus (parasitic maiden fern)Presumed cause. Medicinal plant Yes Yes Srivastava (2009)
Dendrocalamus strictus (male bamboo)Young shoots are edible and used as food Yes Guadua-Bamboo (2015)
Desmodium incanum (creeping beggerweed)Sticky seeds provide the means to spread on clothes and equipment Yes Yes Mori and Brown (1998)
Dioscorea alata (white yam) Yes Yes
Diplazium esculentum (vegetable fern)It is usually foraged from the wild for food Yes Badola (2010); HEAR (2020)
Dysphania ambrosioides (Mexican tea)Leaves and seeds are consumed by humans Yes Yes Prota4U (2013)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)Grains eaten by humans in times of scarcity Yes Yes FAO (2014)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)Fruits used to make jelly Yes Christenhusz (2009)
Emilia coccinea (scarlet tasselflower)Leaves consumed as a vegetable Yes PROTA (2018)
Emilia sonchifolia (red tasselflower)Leaves eaten as a vegetable Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2018)
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed)Young leaves are eaten as a vegetable Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee (2016)
Garcinia dulcis (yellow mangosteen)Fruits sold in markets for human consumption Yes Yes Jansen (1991)
Inga acreana (ice-cream bean tree)Harvested from the wild for its fruits Yes Yes ​Van den Eynden et al. (1999​)
Inga mucuna (ice-cream bean tree)Harvested from the wild for its fruits Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2020)
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush)Bulbs eaten as food by Swinomish peoples of Washington State Yes Gunther (1973)
Lactuca floridana (woodland lettuce) Yes
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)Young fruits, young shoots and flowers are consumed by humans Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Launaea intybacea (bitter lettuce)Leaves consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Leonurus sibiricus (Siberian motherwort)Vegetable and famine food source Yes Baranov (1967)
Lepidium virginicum (Virginian peppercress)Gathered from the wild by various indigenous cultures for food and medicinal purposes. Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2016)
Lupinus angustifolius (narrow-leaf lupin)Human food (pulse) Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Lygodium flexuosum (maidenhair creeper)It is foraged for medicinal purposes Yes USDA-APHIS-PPQ (2009)
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)Fruits eaten by humans Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot)Arrowroot – starch Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2018)
Monochoria hastata (hastate-leaved pondweed)It is foraged locally for food Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2019)
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry)Fruits/ Leaves consumed as vegetable Yes Yes Nelson (2006)
Nephrolepis hirsutula (sword fern)For leis, decorations and mulch Yes Whistler (1988)
Nopalea cochenillifera (cochineal cactus)Used as a vegetable Yes Yes Encyclopedia of Life (2017)
Ocimum gratissimum (African basil)Leaves eaten as vegetables and also used for tea Yes Yes PROSEA (2018)
Paederia foetida (skunkvine)Plant parts are harvested from the wild for food and medicine Yes Srianta et al. (2012)
Pandanus dubius (bakong)Leaves and roots are used locally in its native range for various purposes, including flooring, mats, umbrellas and roof thatching Yes Brink and Escobin (2003)
Parkia biglobosa (néré) Yes
Phaseolus lunatus (lima bean) Yes Yes PROTA (2014)
Phyllostachys aurea (golden bamboo)Shoots are consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes Chengde and Widjaja (1995)
Phyllostachys flexuosa (drooping timber bamboo)Shoots consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee (2017)
Phyllostachys reticulata (giant timber bamboo)Shoots consumed as vegetable Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee (2017)
Phytophthora lateralis (Port-Orford-cedar root disease) Yes USDA (2003)
Plasmodiophora brassicae (club root)Infested soil can be moved on footwear Yes Wallenhammar et al. (2016)
Polyscias fruticosa (ming aralia)Leaves are consumed by humans Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2020)
Potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) Yes Yes ISSG (2006)
Rytidostylis carthagenensisFruits used for food in Central America Yes Chizmar Fernández (2009)
Sambucus canadensis (American black elderberry)Cultivated for its fruits Yes Yes Charlebois et al. (2010)
Sesbania bispinosa (dunchi fibre)For famine food, medicinal uses and to use in cooking Yes Duke (1983); Orwa et al. (2009); Useful Tropical Plants (2016)
Solanum sisymbriifolium (sticky nightshade)The berry is considered edible and consumed by humans Yes PBI Solanum Project (2020)
Solanum tuberosum (potato)Species has a long and wide history of cultivation both locally and commercially Yes Yes
Sonchus asper (spiny sow-thistle)Leaves are eaten as a vegetable Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2014)
Sterculia apetala (Panama tree)Foraged by pigs, other mammals and birds Yes Yes Rodríguez-Vargas (2007); Timm et al. (2009)
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple)Species produces edible fruits which are much foraged and sold in local marketplaces Yes Yes Morton (1987); Panggabean (1991); Whistler and Elevitch (2006)
Tamarindus indica (tamarind)Fruits are consumed by humans Yes Yes PROSEA (2018)
Urochloa reptans (sprawling signalgrass)Seeds consumed as famine food Yes Yes Gupta (2013)
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) Yes Yes PFAF (2015)
Verbena officinalis (vervain)Foraged from the wild for medicinal uses Yes PFAF (2020)
Vigna marina (beach bean)Possible use of roots for food by aboriginals Yes ILDIS (2014)
Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet)Edible fruit Yes Gilman (2014)