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
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
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
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Not documented but possible Yes
Callosciurus finlaysonii (Finlayson's squirrel) Yes Timmins and Duckworth, 2008
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
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
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 Sankaran, 2002
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
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)Fruits eaten by humans Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot)Arrowroot – starch Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2018
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
Parkia biglobosa (néré) Yes
Phaseolus lunatus (lima bean) Yes Yes PROTA, 2014
Phyllostachys flexuosa (drooping timber bamboo)Shoots consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017
Phytophthora lateralis (Port-Orford-cedar root disease) Yes Sankaran, 2002
Plasmodiophora brassicae (club root)Infested soil can be moved on footwear Yes Wallenhammar et al., 2016
Potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) Yes Yes ISSG, 2006
Rytidostylis carthagenensisFruits used for food in Central America Yes Chizmar Fernández, 2009
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
Urochloa reptans (sprawling signalgrass)Seeds consumed as famine food Yes Yes Gupta, 2013
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) Yes Yes PFAF, 2015
Vigna marina (beach bean)Possible use of roots for food by aboriginals Yes ILDIS, 2014
Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet)Edible fruit Yes Gilman, 2014