Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Leonotis nepetifolia
(Christmas candlestick)

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Datasheet

Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 16 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Leonotis nepetifolia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Christmas candlestick
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • L. nepetifolia is a large upright herbaceous plant native to tropical Africa. It is a listed invasive species in Australia and Hawaii that grows readily along road shoulders, in abandoned fields, in disturbed a...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit.
Copyright©Amazonia Exotics U.K/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit.
Flowering habitLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit.©Amazonia Exotics U.K/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); spent flowerheads. Punakea Loop LZ Launiupoko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.
TitleFlowerheads
CaptionLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); spent flowerheads. Punakea Loop LZ Launiupoko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); spent flowerheads. Punakea Loop LZ Launiupoko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.
FlowerheadsLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); spent flowerheads. Punakea Loop LZ Launiupoko, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit. Kailua Gulch Makawao Ave, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit. Kailua Gulch Makawao Ave, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit. Kailua Gulch Makawao Ave, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.
HabitLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); flowering habit. Kailua Gulch Makawao Ave, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); invasive habit, with seed heads. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); invasive habit, with seed heads. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2005.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2005 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); invasive habit, with seed heads. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2005.
HabitLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); invasive habit, with seed heads. Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2005.©Forest & Kim Starr-2005 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); inasive habit, in pasture (with Opuntia spp). Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); inasive habit, in pasture (with Opuntia spp). Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); inasive habit, in pasture (with Opuntia spp). Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.
HabitLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); inasive habit, in pasture (with Opuntia spp). Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr-2009 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); vegetative habit. Kawela Bridge, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. October 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); vegetative habit. Kawela Bridge, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. October 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2014 - CC BY 4.0
Leonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); vegetative habit. Kawela Bridge, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. October 2014.
HabitLeonotis nepetifolia (Christmas candlestick); vegetative habit. Kawela Bridge, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. October 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr-2014 - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R. Br.

Preferred Common Name

  • Christmas candlestick

Other Scientific Names

  • Leonotis nepetaefolia L.) Mill.
  • Leonurus globosus Moench
  • Leonurus nepetifolius (L.) Mill
  • Phlomis nepetifolia L.

International Common Names

  • English: bald bush; bald head; bird honey; bird-head; cat-mint-leaved phlomis; grow pompon; Johnny Collins; klip dagga; knod grass; lion's ear; lion's tail; Lord Lavington; minaret flower; wild dagga
  • Spanish: botón de cadete; cebadilla; cevadille; cola de león; cordón de fraile; molenillo; molinillo; panchita; quinino de pasto; rubim de bolas; trebolito
  • French: grasse mulatre; gros bouton; gros pompon; gros tête; pompon rouge; pompon soldat; sabadi; salbadi
  • Chinese: zungzu
  • Portuguese: cordão

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: cordão-de-frade; cordão-de-San-Francisco
  • Cuba: bastón de San Francisco; botón de San Francisco
  • Germany: katzenminzblättriges Löwenohr
  • India: bara guma; deepa shoole; deepmal; goa gadde; granthi; granthika; granthiparna; granthiparni; kaaduthumbe; lal guma; ranabheri
  • Southern Africa: ihambambeba; kambanje; mudyatsonzo; mudzutsu; mukadzimainza; nyamuchena; umhlahlampethu; utshwala-benyoni
  • Sweden: sommarlejonöra
  • Zimbabwe: momba

Summary of Invasiveness

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L. nepetifolia is a large upright herbaceous plant native to tropical Africa. It is a listed invasive species in Australia and Hawaii that grows readily along road shoulders, in abandoned fields, in disturbed areas, and waste lands (Randall, 2001; HPWRA, 2015). It is listed as a pest plant in Florida (Floridata, 2014). Floridata reports that L. nepetifolia is an invasive garden plant in Australia and a pest plant in Hawaii, but it also notes that the species is not a serious pest in most areas because it grows mostly in highly disturbed areas and rarely establishes in natural areas. However, where it does establish, it has the potential to form large colonies that displace native plants (Csurhes and Edwards, 1998). It can be a serious weed of crops including rice and sugarcane in South America (Smith, 2002).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Lamiales
  •                         Family: Lamiaceae
  •                             Genus: Leonotis
  •                                 Species: Leonotis nepetifolia

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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There are two distinct varieties of L. nepetifolia: L. nepetifolia (L.) W.T. Aiton var. nepetifolia and L. nepetifolia var. africana (P.Beauv.) J.K.Morton; the former is common throughout the cosmopolitan, pan-tropical range of L. nepetifolia but rare in Central, North-east and West Africa where the latter predominates except in Malawi and East Africa (Iwarsson and Harvey, 2003).

Synonyms exist for the two varieties of L. nepetifolia (The Plant List, 2013).

Leonotis nepetifolia var. africana (P.Beauv.) J.K.Morton:

  • Leonotis africana (P.Beauv.) Briq.
  • Leonotis pallida (Schumach. & Thonn.) Benth.
  • Phlomis africana P.Beauv.
  • Phlomis pallida Schumach. & Thonn.

L. nepetifolia (L.) W.T. Aiton var. nepetifolia

  • Leonotis kwebensis N.E.Br.
  • Leonotis ovata Bojer
  • Stachys mediterranea Vell.

The common name Lion’s ear comes from the orange flowers which are borne in spiny clusters.

Plant Type

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Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated

Distribution

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L. nepetifolia is indigenous to tropical and subtropical East Africa, as are the 30 other species in the genus. It is widely established across the tropics in Africa, South-east Asia, the Pacific islands, Australia, Central and South America, the southern USA, Mexico and the Caribbean islands.

L. nepetifolia has been a standard, easy to grow ornamental garden plant widely distributed across the world by European colonial expansion starting in the 17th century. The species is more widely distributed than indicated in the table section. 

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

CambodiaPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015
East TimorPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
IndiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Reddy et al., 2008Occasional weed of road sides, fallow lands and degraded forests
-Andhra PradeshPresentIntroducedRamana et al., 2011
-JharkhandPresentIntroduced Invasive Divakara and Santosh, 2015
-KeralaPresentIntroducedKerala Plants, 2015
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroducedPrakash et al., 2012
-Uttar PradeshPresentLal and Ambasht, 1982
JapanPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015
NepalPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
SingaporePresentIntroduced Invasive Chong et al., 2009
ThailandPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015
VietnamPresentIntroducedRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015Bien Hoa Province

Africa

BeninPresentGBIF, 2015
BotswanaPresentGBIF, 2015
Burkina FasoPresentNativeJSTOR Global Plants, 2015
BurundiPresentFlora of Central Africa, 2015
CameroonPresentJSTOR Global Plants, 2015
CongoPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentFlora of Central Africa, 2015
Côte d'IvoirePresentGBIF, 2015
Equatorial GuineaPresentGBIF, 2015
EthiopiaPresentJSTOR Global Plants, 2015
GabonPresentORSTOM, 1988
Guinea-BissauPresentGBIF, 2015
KenyaPresentNativeMaobe et al., 2013; JSTOR Global Plants, 2015
LiberiaPresentGBIF, 2015
MadagascarPresentIntroducedMadagascar Catalogue, 2015Naturalized
MalawiPresentIwarsson and Harvey, 2003
MozambiquePresentNativeHyde et al., 2016
NamibiaPresentRoux, 2003
NigeriaPresentAdebitan, 1998; JSTOR Global Plants, 2015
RwandaPresentMbanzamihigo et al., 2013
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentGBIF, 2015
SeychellesPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015Agalega; Coetivy
Sierra LeonePresentRoux, 2003; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015
South AfricaPresentSANBI, 2015
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
TanzaniaPresentGBIF, 2015
TogoPresentJSTOR Global Plants, 2015
UgandaPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015
ZambiaPresentNativeBingham et al., 2013
ZimbabwePresentNativeHyde et al., 2015

North America

MexicoWidespreadIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014; Conabio, 2015
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999; EDDMapS, 2013
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013
-MississippiPresentIntroduced
-New MexicoPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-TexasPresentIntroduced Invasive EDDMapS, 2013

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
Antigua and BarbudaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
BahamasPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
BarbadosPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
British Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014Guana, Tortola, Virgin Gorda
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012; GBIF, 2015
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
DominicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012; GBIF, 2015
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
HondurasPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012; GBIF, 2015
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
MartiniquePresentIntroduced
MontserratPresentIntroduced
Netherlands AntillesPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
Saint LuciaPresentIntroduced
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2014

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012
BoliviaPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012
BrazilPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013; Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2015
-AcrePresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-AlagoasPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-AmazonasPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-BahiaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-CearaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-GoiasPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-MaranhaoPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Mato GrossoPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-ParaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-ParaibaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-ParanaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-PernambucoPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-PiauiPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Rio Grande do NortePresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-RondoniaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-Sao PauloPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-SergipePresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
-TocantinsPresentIntroducedReflora, 2013
ColombiaPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012
EcuadorPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
French GuianaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007
GuyanaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007
ParaguayPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012
PeruPresentIntroducedDavidse et al., 2012
SurinamePresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedFunk et al., 2007

Europe

SpainPresentPresent based on regional distribution.

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2013Tahiti; Rurutu; Tubuai
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015Île Grande Terre
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2001

Risk of Introduction

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Deliberate introduction is limited to L. nepetifolia's use as a showy ornamental species for landscapes and gardens (Floridata, 2014); however, once in new territories it can easily expand its range.  

Habitat

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L. nepetifolia is found in roadsides, overgrazed pastures, disturbed sites, waste areas, waterways and floodplains (Weeds of Australia, 2015). It is also found in savannah vegetation near creeklines in Western Australia (Weeds of Australia, 2015). In southern Africa it is present in mixed woodland, and along streambanks and roadsides (Bingham et al., 2013).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Industrial / intensive livestock production systems Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

2n = 24 (IPCN Chromosome Reports, 2015).

Reproductive Biology

L. nepetifolia reproduces by seed. Each seed pod contains four seeds (Weeds of Australia, 2015). Seeds may be spread by water, but "has no special adaptations to aid dispersal" (Gordon et al., 2011). Little is known about nectar dynamics and pollination, but as honeybees account for most visits to the flowers, it is possible that bees could be the major pollinator (Kulloli et al., 2011). L. nepetifolia is also a nectar source for three sunbird species in Africa: the Bronzy Sunbird, Nectarinia kilimensis, the Malachite Sunbird, N. famosa, and the Variable Sunbird, N. venusta (Gill and Wolf, 1979). L. nepetifolia is a nectar source for humming birds and bees in Mexico (Cruden, 1976).

Flowering in Australia occurs mostly from summer through to early winter (i.e. from December to July) (Weeds of Australia, 2015). 

Physiology and Phenology

Fresh seeds of L. nepetifolia are dormant due to a water-soluble inhibitor in the seed coasts. Seeds do not germinate at 15-20°C, but about 100% germination is achieved at 28-32°C: the temperature requirements for germination therefore limit the distribution of this species (Lal and Ambasht, 1982).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Csa - Mediterranean climate Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers, warmest month average temp. > 22°C
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall2501600mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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L. nepetifolia reproduces by seeds which are dispersed by water and by adhering to animals and machinery (Weeds of Australia, 2015). 

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Economic Impact

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L. nepetifolia can become a problem for cattle producers in northern Australia and may reduce the access to waterways for livestock, due to the spiky nature of the inflorescence (heads), and its presence along riverbanks (Weeds of Australia, 2015).

L. nepetifolia is an agricultural weed in both Australia and Mexico, especially in no-till systems, requiring control and management (Piedra-Ibarra et al., 2005; Concenço et al., 2011; Clarkson et al., 2012). It can be a serious weed of crops including rice and sugarcane in South America (Smith, 2002).

L. nepetifolia is a host for viruses: Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), a satellite RNA of CMV (CMV satRNA) and Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and thus could represent a risk to cultivated plants (Piedra-Ibarra et al., 2005). It is also a host for Sphaceloma, which causes scab on cowpeas (Adebitan, 1998).

Environmental Impact

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L. nepetifolia can form dense stands along riverbanks and on floodplains, replacing indigenous species and altering the trophic levels and altering ecosystem services. 

L. nepetifolia is listed as a possible threat to the endangered Hawaiian fern Marsilea villosa by Chau et al. (2013). In some survey years it was one of the most abundant species in plots where the fern was present. While Chau et al. say that the fern appeared to be resilient to L. nepetifolia invasion over the years of their study, they warn that L. nepetifolia has been documented as causing ecological harm in Hawaii and cannot be discounted as an individual species that could have significant effects on M. villosa growth. 

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Marsilea villosa (villous waterclover)No DetailsHawaiiCompetitionChau et al., 2013

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting

Uses

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L. nepetifolia has been used to treat bronchial asthma, diarrhea, fever, influenza and malaria in India; the species is also reported as an analgesic and as exhibiting antifungal and antibacterial activities (Prakash et al., 2012; Dhawan et al., 2013; Maobe et al., 2013). Repeated applications can reduce excretion of the eggs of gastrointestinal parasites of goats (Mbanzamihigo et al., 2013).

A commercial website claims that the dried foliage of L. nepetifolia has psychoactive properties and is sometimes used as a substitute for marijuana; smoking the dried leaves gives a euphoric-like effect and a sense of exuberance (Jessurun, 2015). 

Uses List

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Drugs, stimulants, social uses

  • Narcotic
  • Psychoactive

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • garden plant
  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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L. nepetifolia is similar to Leonotis leonurus; the two species are difficult to differentiate. The flowers of L. nepetifolia sprout from a round prickly ball. The lower leaves of L. nepetifolia are broader (2-15 cm wide) than those of L. leonurus (1-1.5 cm wide). The species is also relatively similar to Hyptis capitata, and Hyptis suaveolens. Notes on distinguishing features are given in Weeds of Australia (2015). L. nepetifolia differs from both species by its orange flowers borne in large globular clusters.

Prevention and Control

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Picloram + triclopyr is recommended for chemical control in Australia (Clarkson et al., 2012). This Australian case study, however, highlights the difficulty of eradicating the species once established, as a review in 2010 of a control program which had been active for at least 17 years concluded that eradication was unlikely without modification to the existing approach to control.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P; Strong MT, 2014. Flora of the West Indies website: Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Adebitan SA, 1998. Record of new host plants for Sphaceloma on cowpea in Nigeria. Mycopathologia, 143(1):47-51.

Bingham MG; Willemen A; Wursten BT; Ballings P; Hyde MA, 2013. Flora of Zambia., Zambia: Flora of Zambia. http://www.zambiaflora.com/index.php

Chau MM; Reyes WR; Ranker TA, 2013. Ecological factors influencing growth of the endangered Hawaiian fern Marsilea villosa (Marsileaceae) and implications for conservation management. American Journal of Botany, 100(8):1532-1543. http://www.amjbot.org/content/100/8/1532.abstract

Chong KY; Tan HTW; Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore. National University of Singapore, Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, 273 pp.

Clarkson JR; Grice AC; Dollery C, 2012. Chasing the lion's tail. The value of program review: a case study from the management of Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R.Br. in Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park. In: Developing solutions to evolving weed problems. 18th Australasian Weeds Conference, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 8-11 October 2012 [ed. by Eldershaw, V.]. Frankston, Australia: Weed Science Society of Victoria Inc., 53-56.

Clement YN; Baksh-Comeau YS; Seaforth CE, 2015. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in Trinidad. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 11(67):(15 September 2015). http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/11/1/67

Conabio, 2015. Leonotis nepetifolia (L.) R. Brown. http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/lamiaceae/leonotis-nepetifolia/fichas/ficha.htm

Concenço G; Salton JC; Brevilieri RC; Mendes PB; Secretti ML, 2011. Soil seed bank of plant species as a function of long-term soil management and sampled depth. Planta Daninha, 29(4):725-736. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-83582011000400002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

Cruden RW, 1976. Intraspecific variation in pollen-ovule ratios and nectar secretion - preliminary evidence of ecotypic adaptation. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 63(2):277-289.

Csurhes S; Edwards R, 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: candidate species for preventive control. Canberra, Australia: Biodiversity Group, Environmental Australia, 202 pp. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/publications/books/pubs/potential.pdf

Davidse G; Sousa Sánchez M; Knapp S; Chiang Cabrera F, 2012. Rubiaceae a Verbenaceae. Flora Mesoamericana, 4:1-533.

Dhawan NG; Khan AS; Srivastava P, 2013. A General Appraisal of Leonotis nepetifolia (L) R. Br: An Essential Medicinal Plant. Bulletin of Environment, Pharmacology and Life Sciences, 2:118-121.

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Links to Websites

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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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26/04/15 Original text by:

John Peter Thompson, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH 

Pedro Acevedo-Rodriguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH

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