Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Macroptilium atropurpureum
(siratro)

Rojas-Sandoval J, 2018. Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.110272.20203483153

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Datasheet

Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 25 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Macroptilium atropurpureum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • siratro
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Macroptilium atropurpureum is a perennial herb widely cultivated across tropical and subtropical regions of the world as a forage crop, a soil and pasture improver and for ground cover. It is native to tropical America and has been introd...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.
TitleFlower
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.
FlowerMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flowers and pods. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.
TitleFlowers and pods
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flowers and pods. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flowers and pods. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.
Flowers and podsMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flowers and pods. Olowalu, Maui, Hawaii. February 2007.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves, flowers and seedpods. Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
TitleLeaves, flowers and seedpods
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves, flowers and seedpods. Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves, flowers and seedpods. Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
Leaves, flowers and seedpodsMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves, flowers and seedpods. Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (dorsal). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
TitleLeaves
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (dorsal). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (dorsal). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
LeavesMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (dorsal). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (ventral). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
TitleLeaves
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (ventral). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
Copyright©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (ventral). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.
LeavesMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Leaves (ventral). Honolua Lipoa Point, Maui, Hawaii. April 2018.©Forest and Kim Starr/via Starr Environmental - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.
TitleFlower
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.
Copyright©John Tann/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.
FlowerMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Flower. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.©John Tann/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
TitleSeedpods
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
Copyright©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
SeedpodsMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
TitleSeedpods
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
Copyright©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
SeedpodsMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Pods are 5-10 cm long, hairy and straight. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
Copyright©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
HabitMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
Copyright©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.
HabitMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Habit. South West Rocks, Australia. January 2008.©Harry Rose/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Sprawling habit. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Sprawling habit. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.
Copyright©John Tann/Flickr - CC BY 2.0
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Sprawling habit. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.
HabitMacroptilium atropurpureum (siratro); Sprawling habit. Emu Park, Queensland, Australia. April 2015.©John Tann/Flickr - CC BY 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Macroptilium atropurpureum (DC.) Urb.

Preferred Common Name

  • siratro

Other Scientific Names

  • Phaseolus affinis Piper
  • Phaseolus atropurpureus DC.
  • Phaseolus canescens M.Martens & Galeotti
  • Phaseolus dysophyllus Benth.
  • Phaseolus schiedeanus Schltdl.
  • Phaseolus vestitus Hook.

International Common Names

  • English: atro; cowpea; phasey bean; purple bean; purple bush-bean
  • Spanish: chonchito; jícama silvestre
  • French: macroptilium à fleur pourpre
  • Chinese: zi hua da yi dou
  • German: purpurbohne

Local Common Names

  • Dominican Republic: kruzu; kudzu
  • Lesser Antilles: red pea
  • Thailand: thua-sirato

Summary of Invasiveness

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Macroptilium atropurpureum is a perennial herb widely cultivated across tropical and subtropical regions of the world as a forage crop, a soil and pasture improver and for ground cover. It is native to tropical America and has been introduced across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Australia and many islands in Oceania. Outside its native distribution range, and in some areas inside its native range, this species is a weed of disturbed sites, roadsides, secondary forests and ungrazed areas. It can form dense stands along forest margins and can also smother native shrubs, grasses and young trees. It has a deep-rooting system and can tolerate extreme drought conditions. Currently, M. atropurpureum is listed as invasive in Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, India, Australia and many islands in Oceania including, Fiji, Palau and Tonga.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Genus: Macroptilium
  •                                 Species: Macroptilium atropurpureum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Fabaceae is one of the largest families of flowering plants. It includes about 766 genera and 19,500 species growing in a wide range of climates and habitats (Stevens, 2012). The genus Macroptilium contains about 18 herb species native to tropical and subtropical America, from southern USA to Argentina and Uruguay, with the greatest diversity occurring in Mexico (Torres-Colin et al., 2010). Macroptilium is a monophyletic genus composed of two sections: Macroptilium and Microcochle, each of which contains nine species (Espert et al., 2007).

Description

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The following description is from Cook et al. (2005) and the Flora of China Editorial Committee (2017):

Perennial, prostrate, creeping herb, sometimes rooting at nodes. Stems at the base of older plants fibrous, >5 mm diameter; younger stems mostly 1-2 mm diameter, pubescent to densely pilose with white hairs; occasionally forming nodal roots under ideal conditions. Leaves trifoliolate; leaflet blades 2-7 x 1.5-5 cm, darker green and finely hairy on the upper surface, grey-green, pubescent on the lower surface, with leaf margins sparsely to densely, finely ciliate. Lateral leaflets ovate to narrowly elliptical, obtuse, mostly with one or two, shallow to deep lobes on the outer margin; terminal leaflet rhomboid, with or without single lobe either side. Inflorescence a raceme comprising 6-12 often paired flowers on a short rachis, peduncle 10-30 cm long. Calyx campanulate-tubular, hairy, tube 8-9 mm long and 3 mm wide, corolla with conspicuous wings 15-17 mm long, deep purple with reddish tinge near base; standard smaller than wings, obovate deltoid at base, reflexed, yellow-green with a purple tint; keel pink, forms a complete spiral. Pods straight, linear-cylindrical, acuminate-beaked, pubescent, 5-10 cm long, 3-5 mm diameter, containing up to 12(-15) seeds. Pods dehisce violently (shatter) when ripe. Seeds speckled, light brown to black, flattened ovoid, 4 x 2.5 x 2 mm.

Plant Type

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Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber

Distribution

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M. atropurpureum is native to tropical America. It occurs naturally from Texas and northern Mexico to Peru and Bolivia (USDA-ARS, 2017). There is some conflicting information in the literature about the native range of this species. In Brazil and a number of Caribbean countries (Bahamas, Cuba, Martinique and Puerto Rico) this species is listed as both native and introduced (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Flora do Brasil, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017); in the Bahamas, it is recorded as native by USDA-ARS (2017) and as invasive by Kairo et al. (2003). M. atropurpureum has been widely introduced and can be found in Australia, Africa, tropical and subtropical Asia, the Caribbean and on many islands in Oceania (Cook et al., 2005; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; ILDIS, 2017; PIER, 2017; PROTA, 2017; Weeds of Australia, 2017). It is listed as an invasive species in Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, India, Australia and many islands in Oceania including, Fiji, Palau and Tonga (Chandra Sekar, 2012; Mir, 2012; PIER, 2017; Weeds of Australia, 2017).

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.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

EthiopiaPresentIntroduced
KenyaPresentIntroduced
MadagascarPresentIntroduced
MaliPresentIntroduced
MauritiusPresentIntroduced
-RodriguesPresentIntroduced
RéunionPresentIntroduced
SeychellesPresentIntroduced
-Aldabra IslandsPresentIntroduced
UgandaPresentIntroduced
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced

Asia

ChinaPresentIntroducedCultivated
-GuangdongPresentIntroducedCultivated
Cocos IslandsPresentIntroduced
IndiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroducedInvasive
-AssamPresentIntroducedInvasive
-DelhiPresentIntroduced
-GoaPresentIntroduced
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Jammu and KashmirPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ManipurPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MeghalayaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MizoramPresentIntroducedInvasive
-NagalandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-SikkimPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroduced
-TripuraPresentIntroducedInvasive
-UttarakhandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-West BengalPresentIntroducedInvasive
JapanPresentIntroduced
-Ryukyu IslandsPresentIntroduced
SingaporePresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized
TaiwanPresentIntroducedNaturalizedCultivated and also naturalized

North America

BahamasPresentNative and IntroducedConsidered both native and introduced in the country
BelizePresentNative
Costa RicaPresentNative
CubaPresentNative and IntroducedConsidered both native and introduced in the country
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedInvasive
El SalvadorPresentNative
GuadeloupePresentNative
GuatemalaPresentNative
HaitiPresentIntroduced
HondurasPresentNative
JamaicaPresentIntroduced
MartiniquePresentNative and IntroducedConsidered both native and introduced in the country
MexicoPresentNative
NicaraguaPresentNative
PanamaPresentNative
Puerto RicoPresentNative and IntroducedConsidered both native and introduced in the country
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced
United StatesPresentPresent based on regional records
-ArizonaPresentNative
-FloridaPresentNative
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-TexasPresentNative

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced1960
-Lord Howe IslandPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedInvasive
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Christmas IslandPresentIntroduced
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasiveAlso cultivated
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
GuamPresentIntroduced
KiribatiPresentIntroduced
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasiveAlso cultivated
NiuePresentIntroducedInvasive
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroduced
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroduced
SamoaPresentIntroduced
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedAlso cultivated
TongaPresentIntroducedInvasive
VanuatuPresentIntroduced
Wallis and FutunaPresentIntroducedInvasiveAlso cultivated

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced
BoliviaPresentNative
BrazilPresentNative and IntroducedConsidered both native and introduced in the country
-AlagoasPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-AmazonasPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-BahiaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Distrito FederalPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-GoiasPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-MaranhaoPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Mato GrossoPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-ParaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-ParaibaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-ParanaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-PernambucoPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Rio Grande do NortePresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-RoraimaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-Sao PauloPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
-SergipePresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized; Original citation: Flora do Brasil (2017)
ColombiaPresentNative
EcuadorPresentNative
French GuianaPresentNative
PeruPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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M. atropurpureum has been deliberately introduced across the tropics and subtropics as a primary forage crop, ground cover crop and soil and pasture improver (Jones and Mannetje, 1992). In Australia, this species was introduced in 1960 and is now regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales (Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia Tropical America 1960 Forage (pathway cause) No No Jones (2014)

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of M. atropurpureum is moderate to high. Although this species is now less popular than it was in the 1960s and 1970s (when it was extensively commercialized), it is still cultivated as a pasture legume across the tropics and subtropics. Its ability to provide high yields of quality forage, fix nitrogen and improve soils and pastures means that it is still valuable in agroforestry systems, so new introductions may occur (Jones and Mannetje, 1992; FAO, 2017).

Habitat

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M. atropurpureum grows in disturbed sites, wastelands, gardens, coastal forests, urban bushlands, watercourses, riparian forests and along roadsides and fences. It is primarily found in moist and warm tropical and subtropical areas, but is also capable of growing in wet habitats in semi-arid and arid areas (PROTA, 2017; Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
LittoralCoastal dunes Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal dunes Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal dunes Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for M. atropurpureum is 2n = 22 (Jones and Mannetje, 1992; FAO, 2017). Several cultivars have been developed and released. The cultivar ‘siratro’ is by far the most well-known, but the more recently developed ‘aztec’ cultivar is also common in cultivation (Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Reproductive Biology

M. atropurpureum has perfect flowers and a mixed breeding system, with autonomous self-pollination occurring when biotic pollination is insufficient (Etcheverry et al., 2008). A study carried out in Brazil showed that in this species anthesis is diurnal and flowers are often visited by insects, especially bees, that collect pollen and nectar during the day (from 8.30 h to 16.30 h) (de Toledo et al., 2008).

Physiology and Phenology

Within its native distribution range, M. atropurpureum grows and produces fruits throughout the year. However, outside its native range, this species behaves as a summer-growing perennial with the highest rate of growth occurring in midsummer to autumn, in Australia (FAO, 2017). Flowering activity seems to be initiated in response to the onset of dry periods and to a reduction in day length (Cook et al., 2005). Plants often have a half-life span (time for half of the population to die) of about 1.5 to 3 years (Jones, 2014).

Associations

Similarly to other Fabaceae species, M. atropurpureum grows in association with Rhizobium bacteria, which enables it to fix nitrogen (FAO, 2017).

Environmental Requirements

M. atropurpureum grows in moist habitats with a mean annual rainfall ranging from 615 mm to 2500 mm, though it prefers areas where rainfall ranges from 700 mm to 1500 mm annually. This species grows at elevations close to sea level in Central America up to 2900 m in Ecuador. It prefers warm areas with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22ºC to 30ºC, but can tolerate lower temperatures of 13/15ºC. It is extremely drought tolerant due to its deep rooting habit, but it is not tolerant of flooding or waterlogging. M. atropurpureum thrives on a wide range of soil types from dark cracking clays to yellow and red clays, littoral dunes, red sands and gravels with pH ranging from (4.5-) 6.5 to 8.0 (-8.5). It is well adapted to growing under moderately saline conditions (Cook, 2005; FAO, 2017).

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])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
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)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30 22 0 2900

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 22 30
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 13

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration6 monthsnumber of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall6002500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • saline

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Baryopadus corrugatus Herbivore Adults not specific
Helicobasidium brebissonii Pathogen Other|All Stages not specific
Ophiomyia phaseoli Herbivore Plants|Seedlings not specific
Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola Pathogen Other|All Stages not specific
Thanatephorus cucumeris Pathogen Other|All Stages not specific
Uromyces appendiculatus Pathogen Other|All Stages not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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M. atropurpureum may be negatively impacted by leaf blight Thanatephorus cucumeris and rust Uromyces appendiculatus. U. appendiculatus is not a lethal disease, but may reduce yield and seed set by 30%, while T. cucumeris can reduce leaf yields by 80%. Violet root rot (Helicobasidium brebissonii) has led to death of taproots. The species is also susceptible to halo blight (Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola). Seedlings can be killed by larvae of the bean fly Ophiomyia phaseoli. Adults of rough brown weevil Baryopadus corrugatus feed on the foliage of M. atropurpureum, and larvae can cause severe damage to roots (Jones and Mannetje, 1992; Cook et al., 2005).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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M. atropurpureum spreads by seed and also vegetatively (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2016). Seeds are forcibly ejected from mature pods and can be thrown several metres away from the maternal plant. They can be dispersed greater distances through water movement and following ingestion by cattle. Seeds are also dispersed as a contaminant in grass seed and hay rolls (Cook et al., 2005; Vibrans, 2009; Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Intentional Introduction

M. atropurpureum has been intentionally introduced across tropical and subtropical regions of the world primarily for use as a pasture legume, forage crop and ground cover crop (Jones and Mannetje, 1992).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Disturbance Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Forage Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Habitat restoration and improvementSoil and pasture improver Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeeds as contaminants in grass seed and hay Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
LivestockSeed ingested and dispersed by cattle Yes
WaterSeeds Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)

Impact

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M. atropurpureum is an environmental weed that forms dense stands along forest edges, disturbed sites, coastal forests and riparian sites. This species also grows over native shrubs, grasses and trees, effectively smothering them. M. atropurpureum is a problem in revegetation sites, where it alters successional processes by displacing young native trees and shrubs and inhibits the establishment of seedlings of native species. In Australia, it is a common weed in vegetation around waterways and in coastal sand dune vegetation (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2016; PIER, 2017; Weeds of Australia, 2017).

Economic Impact

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M. atropurpureum is an agricultural weed in sugar cane plantations where the climbing stems can interfere with mechanical harvesting (Cook et al., 2005).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • 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
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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M. atropurpureum is mainly used as a forage crop for permanent and short-term pastures, but can also be used for cut-and-carry or conserved as hay. In addition, this species is used for soil conservation (revegetation/stabilisation of earthworks in cuttings and on embankments), soil improvement and ground cover (Jones and Mannetje, 1992; Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2017; PROTA, 2017).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

Environmental

  • Soil conservation
  • Soil improvement

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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M. atropurpureum can be confused with other species in the genus Macroptilium, especially M. lathyroides, M. bracteatum and M. gibbosifolium. However, these species can be distinguished by the following differences (Vibrans, 2009; Weeds of Australia, 2017):

  • M. atropurpureum is a creeping or climbing plant with dark purple-red flowers.
  • M. lathyroides is an upright plant (usually less than 1 m tall) with bright red flowers.
  • M. bracteatum differs by having a cluster of small leafy bracts near the base of each of its flower stalks (i.e. peduncles).
  • M. gibbosifolium is a vine with orange or red flowers.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Control

Physical/Mechanical Control

M. atropurpureum can be hand pulled, chipped or mowed. Removing the whole crown by grubbing is the most effective manual/mechanical control method (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2016).

Chemical Control

In Australia, the herbicides triclopyr, picloram and glufosinate ammonium have been approved for the control of environmental weeds, including M. atropurpureum, in non-agricultural areas, bushland and forests (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2016). M. atropurpureum is also susceptible to bentazone, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 4-(2,4-Dichlorophenoxy)butyric acid (Cook et al., 2005).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. 98. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Bolivia Catalogue, 2017. St Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/Project/BC

Chandra Sekar K, 2012. Invasive alien plants of Indian Himalayan Region—Diversity and Implication. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 3, 177-184.

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

Cook BG, Pengelly BC, Brown SD, Donnelly JL, Eagles DA, Franco MA, Hanson J, Mullen BF, Partridge IJ, Peters M, Schultze-Kraft R, 2005. Brisbane, Australia: CSIRO, DPI&F, CIAT, ILRI.http://www.tropicalforages.info/

de Toledo VDA, de Oliveira AJB, Ruvolo-Takasusuki MCC, Mitsui MH, Vieira RE, Kotaka CS, Chiari WC, Gobbi Filho L, Terada Y, 2008. Sugar content in nectar flowers of siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum Urb.). Acta Scientiarum. Animal Sciences, 27, 105-108.

Espert SM, Drewes SI, Burghardt AD, 2007. Cladistics, 23(2) : Blackwell Publishing.119-129. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/cla doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2006.00140.x

Etcheverry AV, Alemán MM, Figueroa Fleming T, Gómez C, 2008. Autonomous self-pollination in Fabaceae-Papilionoideae in Northwestern Argentina. In: Modern variety breeding for present and future needs. Proceedings of the 18th EUCARPIA general congress, Valencia, Spain, 9-12 September, 2008, Editorial Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. 116-121.

FAO, 2017. Rome, Italy: Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN.http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropSearchForm

Flora do Brasil, 2016. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br

Flora Mesoamericana, 2016. St Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/Project/fm

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

ILDIS, 2017. Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading.http://www.ildis.org/

Jones RM, 2014. The rise and fall of Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) - what went wrong and some implications for legume breeding, evaluation and management. Tropical Grasslands, 2, 154-164.

Jones RM, Mannetje L, 1992. Macroptilium atropurpureum (DC.) Urban. Record from Proseabase. Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation.

Kairo M, Ali B, Cheesman O, Haysom K, Murphy S, 2003. Invasive species threats in the Caribbean region. Report to the Nature Conservancy. In: Invasive species threats in the Caribbean region. Report to the Nature Conservancy : CAB International.132 pp. http://www.bu.edu/scscb/working_groups/resources/Kairo-et-al-2003.pdf

Mir C, 2012. National Strategy of Invasive Alien Species Conducted within the framework of the Project "Mitigating the threats of invasive alien species in the Insular Caribbean". (Estrategia Nacional de Especies Exóticas Invasoras Realizado en el marco del Proyecto “Mitigando las amenazas de las especies exóticas invasoras en el Caribe Insular”). Dominican Republic: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales Santo Domingo.

PIER, 2017. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

PROTA, 2017. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.http://www.prota4u.info

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2016. Fact-sheet for Siratro-Macroptilium atropurpureum. Queensland, Australia: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Biosecurity Queensland.https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/65289/IPA-Siratro-PP93.pdf

Stevens PF, 2012. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

Torres Colín L, Fuentes Soriano S, Delgado Salinas A, 2010. A palynological study of the genus Macroptilium (Benth) Urb. (Leguminosae) in Mexico and Central America. (Estudio palinológico del género Macroptilium (Benth) Urb.(Leguminosae) en México y Centroamérica). Acta Botánica Mexicana, 91, 51-69.

USDA-ARS, 2016. Beltsville, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl

USDA-NRCS, 2016. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center.http://plants.usda.gov/

Vibrans H, 2009. http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/2inicio/paginas/lista-plantas-generos.htm

Weeds of Australia, 2017. http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Html/index.htm

Zuloaga FO, Morrone O, Belgrano MJ, 2008. Catalogue of the vascular plants of the southern cone (Argentina, southern Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay). (Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur: (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay)). USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press.3348 pp.

Distribution References

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Bolivia Catalogue, 2017. Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Bolivia. (Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares de Bolivia)., St Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/BC

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Chong K Y, Tan H T W, Corlett R T, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp. https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

Cook BG, Pengelly BC, Brown SD, Donnelly JL, Eagles DA, Franco MA, Hanson J, Mullen BF, Partridge IJ, Peters M, Schultze-Kraft R, 2005. Tropical Forages: an interactive selection tool., Brisbane, Australia: CSIRO, DPI&F, CIAT, ILRI. http://www.tropicalforages.info/

Flora Mesoamericana, 2016. Flora Mesoamericana. (Flora Mesoamericana.). In: Flora Mesoamericana. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/Project/fm

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017. Flora of China. In: Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

ILDIS, 2017. International Legume Database & Information Service. World Database of Legumes (version 10)., Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading. http://www.ildis.org/

Kairo M, Ali B, Cheesman O, Haysom K, Murphy S, 2003. Invasive species threats in the Caribbean region. Report to the Nature Conservancy. In: Invasive species threats in the Caribbean region. Report to the Nature Conservancy. Curepe, Trinidad and Tobago: CAB International. 132 pp. http://www.issg.org/database/species/reference_files/Kairo%20et%20al,%202003.pdf

Mir C, 2012. [English title not available]. (Estrategia Nacional de especies exóticas invasoras realizado en el marco del Proyecto “Mitigando las amenazas de las especies exóticas invasoras en el Caribe Insular”)., Dominican Republic: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales Santo Domingo.

PIER, 2017. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

PROTA, 2017. PROTA4U web database. In: PROTA4U web database. Wageningen and Nairobi, Netherlands\Kenya: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. https://www.prota4u.org/database/

Sekar K C, 2012. Invasive alien plants of Indian Himalayan Region - diversity and implication. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 3 (2), 177-184. http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=17533 DOI:10.4236/ajps.2012.32021

USDA-ARS, 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2017. The PLANTS Database. In: The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

Weeds of Australia, 2017. Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland Edition., http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Html/index.htm

Zuloaga F O, Morrone O, Belgrano M J, 2008. Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur: (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. 3348 pp.

Contributors

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03/04/18 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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