Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Neonotonia wightii
(perennial soybean)

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Datasheet

Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Neonotonia wightii
  • Preferred Common Name
  • perennial soybean
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Neonotonia wightii is a twining or prostrate perennial climbing herb, often becoming woody at the base. It occurs in grassland, scrub, riverine thicket and woodland within its widespread native range which stre...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering an abandoned vehicle. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October 2008.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering an abandoned vehicle. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October 2008.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering an abandoned vehicle. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October 2008.
Invasive habitNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering an abandoned vehicle. Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October 2008.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering and  blanketing habitat. Keokea, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2007.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering and blanketing habitat. Keokea, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2007.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering and  blanketing habitat. Keokea, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2007.
Invasive habitNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); invasive habit, smothering and blanketing habitat. Keokea, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March 2007.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit showing leaves, flowers and seedpods. LZ1, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit showing leaves, flowers and seedpods. LZ1, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December 2008.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit showing leaves, flowers and seedpods. LZ1, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December 2008.
HabitNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit showing leaves, flowers and seedpods. LZ1, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December 2008.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nakaohu Kahikinui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nakaohu Kahikinui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nakaohu Kahikinui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
HabitNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); habit, showing flowers and leaves. Nakaohu Kahikinui, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); ripe seedpods. Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.
TitleSeedpods
CaptionNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); ripe seedpods. Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); ripe seedpods. Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.
SeedpodsNeonotonia wightii (perennial soybean); ripe seedpods. Enchanting Floral Gardens of Kula, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Neonotonia wightii (Wight & Arn.) J.A. Lackey

Preferred Common Name

  • perennial soybean

Other Scientific Names

  • Glycine albidiflora De Wild.
  • Glycine bujacia Benth.
  • Glycine bujasia Benth.
  • Glycine claessensii De Wild.
  • Glycine javanica auct. non L.
  • Glycine longicauda Schweinf.
  • Glycine micrantha A.Rich.
  • Glycine moniliformis A.Rich.
  • Glycine wightii (Wight & Arn.) Verdc.
  • Johnia wightii (Wight & Arn.) Wight & Arn.
  • Notonia wightii Wight & Arn.
  • Notonia wightii Wight & Arnott.
  • Soja javanica (L.) Graham
  • Soja wightii Graham

International Common Names

  • English: glycine; tinaroo glycine
  • Spanish: soya forrajera; soya perenne; soya perenne forrajera
  • French: soja pérenne

Local Common Names

  • Australia: tinaroo; tinaroo glycine
  • Brazil: soja pérenne
  • Germany: ausdauernde soja
  • Taiwan: rhodesian kudzu
  • Tanzania: fundo-fundo
  • Thailand: thua peelenian soybean

Summary of Invasiveness

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Neonotonia wightii is a twining or prostrate perennial climbing herb, often becoming woody at the base. It occurs in grassland, scrub, riverine thicket and woodland within its widespread native range which stretches from Africa, through the Arabian Peninsula and into the tropics of India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Widely introduced, it is valued outside its native range for livestock forage and has become invasive in many Pacific islands including the Hawaiian Islands, and Australia. Where invasive, it is spread by viable seeds eaten and dispersed by livestock, grows rapidly in open and disturbed areas, and can smother or reduce available light to grasses, understory vegetation, and in some cases, shrubs and small trees. In the Hawaiian Islands, it threatens at least seven rare or endangered plant species. 

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Neonotonia includes two species of scandent or climbing herbs distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Malesia. The genus name is derived from the Greek word neo- (new) and Notonia (after Benjamin Noton, 1812–1835), an English botanist who contributed to the botany of the Nilgiri Hills, India (Lackey, 1977).

Based on morphological, cytological, and biochemical evidence, plants previously named Glycine javanica auct. and Glycine wightii (Wight & Arn.) Verdc. are now correctly included in the species Neonotonia wightii (Wight & Arn.) J.A. Lackey (Lackey, 1977). N. wightii is primarily of African origin, with chromosome counts of 22 and 44, which differs from the Asian origin and chromosome numbers of members in the genus Glycine (Lackey, 1980; Shurtleff and Aoyagi, 2010). The genus Neonotonia can also be distinguished from Glycine by its pseudoracemose inflorescences and by the completely connate upper two calyx lobes (Wagner et al., 1999).

Three subspecies are recognized in N. wightii, including N. wightii subsp. petitiana and N. wightii subsp. pseudojavanica (Lackey, 1977). In addition, there are several varieties and cultivars that have been bred and cultivated for forage and green manure (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015), such as in Australia where the most common cultivar is 'tinaroo'. The cultivars 'clarence', 'cooper' and 'malawi' are also popular in Australia (Queensland Government, 2015).

Varieties of N. wightii include: N. wightii var. longicauda (Schweinf.) Lackey; N. wightii var. mearnsii (De Wild.) Lackey; N. wightii var. wightii (Wight & Arn.) J.A. Lackey and N. wightii var. coimbatorensis (A.Sen) Karth. (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2015).

Description

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The following description is based on Wagner et al. (1999), Cook et al. (2005) and FAO (2015):

N. wightii is a twining, trailing or prostrate perennial herb with a strong taproot; stems 0.6-4.5 m long, often forming dense clumps, woody toward base, densely pubescent with long, spreading to appressed, rusty hairs. Under grazing, stems may arise from a crown below the soil surface; runners frequently root at the nodes and are moderately hairy.

Leaves pinnately trifoliolate; leaflets elliptic, ovate, or rhombic-ovate, 1.5-16 cm long, 1.3-12.5 cm wide, glabrous to densely velvety pubescent, stipels subulate, c. 2 mm long.

Flowers in dense or lax pseudoracemes up to 2-60 cm long; calyx sparsely to densely pubescent, the tube 1.5-2 mm long, the lobes linear-lanceolate, 2-3 mm long; corolla white or white with a mauve spot on the standard, drying orange, standard 4-7.5 mm long, wings with a tooth or lobe at juncture of lobe and claw.

Pods linear-oblong, straight or curved, 15-36 mm long, 2.5-5 mm wide, densely rusty pubescent, transversely grooved between the seeds, sometimes weakly septate. Seeds 4-7, dark reddish brown, oblong, somewhat compressed, 2.5-4 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide, aril white.

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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N. wightii has a widespread native range, occurring in the warmer parts of the Transvaal, Natal and Eastern Cape province of southern Africa, up through east and central Africa, across the Arabian Peninsula, and into tropical Asia and the East Indies (FAO, 2015). It has been introduced to several tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world, including Australia, Hawaii, Brazil, and elsewhere (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015) and has become invasive in Australia and Hawaii (Pengelly and Benjamin, 1992; Wagner et al., 1999; Queensland Government, 2013) and numerous Pacific Islands (PIER, 2015).

It is not reported to be on continental North America (USDA-NRCS, 2015).

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

ChinaPresentIntroducedJiang et al., 2011Naturalized
IndiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
-Andhra PradeshPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-GoaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-GujaratPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-KarnatakaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-KeralaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-Madhya PradeshPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-MaharashtraPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-OdishaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
-Tamil NaduPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
IndonesiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-JavaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
MalaysiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
Saudi ArabiaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
Sri LankaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
TaiwanPresentNativeShurtleff and Aoyagi, 2014
YemenPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015

Africa

AngolaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
BotswanaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
BurundiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
CameroonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
ChadPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
ComorosPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
EthiopiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
GabonPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
GhanaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
GuineaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
KenyaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
LiberiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
MalawiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
MaliPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
MauritiusPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
MozambiquePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
NigeriaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
RéunionPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
Rodriguez IslandPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2014
RwandaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentNativeILDIS, 2014
Sierra LeonePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
South AfricaPresentNativeILDIS, 2014
SudanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
TanzaniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
TogoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
UgandaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
ZambiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
ZimbabwePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced1975 Invasive Wagner et al., 1999; PIER, 2015Naturalized on Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Hawaii islands

Central America and Caribbean

CubaPresentIntroducedMonzote and Garcia, 1990

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
BoliviaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
BrazilPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015
ColombiaPresentFAO, 2015

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Invasive Csurhes and Edwards, 1998
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedCsurhes and Edwards, 1998; AVH, 2015
-Western AustraliaPresentAVH, 2015Northern WA
FijiPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015
Norfolk IslandPresentAVH, 2015
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2015

History of Introduction and Spread

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N. wightii has been widely introduced outside its native range (Cook et al., 2005; USDA-ARS, 2015). Field trials, evaluation as a livestock forage, or records of naturalization are reported as early as 1960 for Brazil (Leal, 1960), 1962 for parts of Australia (Cook et al., 2005) and 1975 for the Hawaiian Islands (Wagner et al., 1999), although the sources of introduced plants are not reported. Aided by the movement of livestock- and human-dispersed seeds, it has naturalized in Australia and Hawaii, and is now considered invasive and an environmental weed within parts of this range, particularly where it is free from the browsing pressure of animals (Wagner et al., 1999; Queensland Government, 2013). 

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia Africa 1962 Forage (pathway cause) Yes Cook et al. (2005); Murray and Phillips (2012) Several cultivars introduced
Australia Asia 1962 Forage (pathway cause) Yes Cook et al. (2005); Murray and Phillips (2012) Several cultivars introduced
Brazil 1962 Forage (pathway cause)Leal (1960)
Hawaii 1975 Forage (pathway cause) Yes Wagner et al. (1999) Year first collected

Risk of Introduction

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Due to its value as a livestock forage, both for its utility in pastures for grazing and as a source of high-quality hay and silage, the potential for further spread of N. wightii and its associated cultivars through intentional introductions remains high (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015). Due to its hard seed coat and the physical dormancy of the seeds (de Morais et al., 2014), it is theoretically possible that viable seeds could be inadvertently introduced over long distances as a contaminant of soil, or other materials, but the probability appears low compared with intentional introductions.

Habitat

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Within its broad native range, N. wightii can be found in a variety of habitats including grassland, grassland with scattered trees, scrub, thickets, woodlands and sometimes on cultivated land, forests, bushland, secondary grassland, riparian vegetation, evergreen forest edges, regrowth areas, fallow areas and along paths and other trafficked corridors (Pengelly and Benjamin, 1992; Groom, 2012).

Within the wetter tropical and sub-tropical regions of its introduced range, particularly Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, N. wightii can be commonly found in pastures and as a weed of riparian areas, urban bushland, rainforest margins, fences, disturbed sites, waste areas, gardens and plantation crops (Wagner et al., 1999; Queensland Government, 2013).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rocky areas / lava flows Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Chromosome numbers reported to include 2n=22 (diploid) and 2n=44 (tetraploid) (Lackey, 1980; FAO, 2015).

Reproductive Biology

N. wightii is a fast-growing perennial herb that is able to reach reproductive maturity in approximately 12 months (Febles et al., 1983; Infonet-Biovision, 2011). It reproduces mainly by seed, but can sometimes reproduce vegetatively by the rooting of detached pieces of its older woody stems (Queensland Government, 2013). It is reported to be self-pollinated and cleistogamous, although some cross-pollination may also occur (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015). Flowers are visited by a suite of generalist pollinators in the Lepidoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera orders. Hymenopteran visitors include members of the Vespidae, Halictidae, Anthophoridae (Exomalopsis sp.) and Apidae (Apis mellifera scutellata) (Roubik, 1995; Nogueira-Couto et al., 1998). N. wightii can also seed prolifically in cultivated and unmanaged settings (Hughes, 1995; FAO, 2015). In cultivated settings, seed yields of 110 kg seed/hectare to 1000 kg/ha have been reported (Cameron, 1984; FAO, 2015).

Physiology and Phenology

N. wightii is characterized as a short-day plant and is primarily a summer-growing perennial (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015). The optimal day-time and night-time temperatures for growth and seed production are in the range of 16°C and 22-27°C respectively, with a lower base temperature for growth (13°C) than for other tropical legumes (Pengelly and Benjamin, 1992). Cook et al. (2005) report that seed formation is reduced at high temperatures.

Cultivar selection for its use as a pasture legume or cover crop in Australia has been partly based on initiation of flowering (Cook et al., 2005; Queensland Government, 2013). Cultivars Clarence and Cooper are early maturing types whereas cv. Tinaroo is late-flowering (FAO, 2015). Cv. Tinaroo is reported to grow adequately during the winter under frost-free conditions of north Queensland, Australia (FAO, 2015).

As a perennial herb, N. wightii may persist for one to several years, depending on the availability of water and browsing pressure. It can tolerate grazing if well established in a field, requiring approximately eight weeks from seed germination before grazing can commence (FAO, 2015). N. wightii is also moderately tolerant of fire, and will regrow following burning as long as soil moisture and subsurface growth are sufficient (FAO, 2015). The hard-coated seeds are orthodox, display physical dormancy, and have remained viable after 23 years of storage (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2008; Baskin and Baskin, 2014). Seeds are long-lived in the soil, although maximum seedbank longevity in the field is unknown (de Morais et al., 2014).

N. wightii is a nitrogen fixing legume that has been reported to fix between 16.5 kg nitrogen/hectare to 203 kg N/ha, varying between location and season (FAO, 2015). It establishes best on fertile soils with sufficient amounts of calcium, phosphorus, sulfur and molybdenum (Cook et al., 2005), requiring approximately twice the amount of molybdenum as that of other tropical legumes (Mears and Barkus, 1970).

Associations

N. wightii is commonly associated with other pasture grasses, including Chloris gayana, Digitaria eriantha, Megathyrsus maximus, Melinis minutiflora, Pennisetum clandestinum, Pennisetum purpureum, Setaria sphacelata and Urochloa decumbens and the legumes Leucaena leucocephala and Vigna parkeri (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015).

Environmental Requirements

N. wightii has a broad native distribution from Africa, through the Middle East and into Asia in regions with a predominantly tropical to subtropical climate (USDA-NRCS, 2015). It has also been introduced for use as forage into many humid tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In tropical East Africa, N. wightii is found mostly between 1000 m up to 2450 m elevation, with mean annual temperatures ranging from 15ºC to 25ºC (Cook et al., 2005). In the Hawaiian Islands, it occurs mostly in elevations under 1000 m with average annual temperatures between 23ºC to 27ºC (Wagner et al., 1999). It is able to survive in areas with monthly temperatures as low as 5 or 6ºC and is subject to frosts. It can resprout from the roots and woody stems after frost has killed the foliage and finer stems but will generally be killed entirely by temperatures that fall below -10 ºC (Cook et al., 2005).

N. wightii originates from regions with an average annual rainfall of 550-1650 mm, with optimal performance in areas of summer rainfall of 750 to 1500 mm (Cook et al., 2005; FAO, 2015). It is relatively drought tolerant and does not perform well where rainfall exceeds 1500 mm.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Tolerated Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 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])
B - Dry (arid and semi-arid) Tolerated < 860mm precipitation annually

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
22 21

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -10
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15 25
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 5-6

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration5number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall5501650mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • saline

Notes on Natural Enemies

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There are no known biological control agents for N. wightii, and its value as livestock forage makes it unlikely that biocontrol research will be pursued in the future.

Cattle and other livestock prevent N. wightii from becoming a problem in pastures and areas accessible to grazing, but it is able to smother other vegetation where livestock are excluded (Motooka et al., 2003). 

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Natural seed dispersal is by gravity, water and vegetatively by detached pieces of older woody stems that are able to take root (Queensland Government, 2013).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

N. wightii produces numerous hard-coated seeds that are consumed and remain viable after excretion by livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats (Simão Neto et al., 1987Gardener et al., 1993a,b). These are likely to continue to be spread outside of cultivated areas or managed pastures by the movements of grazing animals.

Accidental Introduction

It is possible that viable seeds could be accidentally introduced to new areas as a contaminant of soil, or other materials, but the probability appears low compared with intentional introductions. Once present in a region, seeds and pods may also be inadvertently dispersed as a contaminant of agricultural produce, such as fodder or hay, and in dumped garden waste (Ziegler et al., 2000; Queensland Government, 2013). Its ubiquity along roadsides, fences, and other heavily trafficked corridors in the Hawaiian Islands increases the likelihood of unintentional dispersal of the seeds. People often harvest foliage from plants growing along the road to feed to their horses or other livestock, and may accidentally disperse the seeds into new areas.

Intentional Introduction

Due to its value as a livestock forage crop,  N. wightii and its associated cultivars have been widely dispersed through intentional introductions to tropical and subtropical regions around the world (Cook et al., 2005, FAO, 2015). 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionWidely introduced forage crop Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Digestion and excretionViable seed passed by livestock Yes Gardener et al., 1993a; Gardener et al., 1993b
ForageWidely introduced forage crop Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Garden waste disposalSeeds can be spread in dumped garden waste Yes Queensland Government, 2013

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeeds can be spread in dumped garden waste Yes Queensland Government, 2013
LivestockViable seed passed by livestock Yes Gardener et al., 1993a; Gardener et al., 1993b
Plants or parts of plants Yes Cook et al., 2005
WaterPods and seeds may be carried by water Yes Queensland Government, 2013

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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N. wightii is one of several alternate hosts of Phakopsora meibomiae, a soyabean rust fungus present in Brazil that impacts soybean production (Carvalho and Figueiredo, 2000). Within part of its native range of Tanzania, N. wightii serves as a perennial reservoir of Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola, a bacterium responsible for halo blight of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) (Mabagala and Saettler, 1992). 

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitat

N. wightii is regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland and northern New South Wales and as a potential environmental weed in other parts of northern Australia. In these regions, it is able to invade open sites and rainforest and can smother low growing vegetation, as well as shrubs and smaller trees. Its ability to climb over other vegetation reduces light availability and photosynthetic capacity, and may kill underlying vegetation and limit native plant recruitment through competitive exclusion. For these reasons, it was ranked among the 20 most invasive environmental weeds of southeastern Queensland (Queensland Government, 2013).

In the Hawaiian Islands, N. wightii invades low elevation, disturbed sites often dominated by other non-native vegetation, but can become problematic in areas where cattle and other livestock or feral ungulates are excluded (Motooka et al., 2003). Because of its ability to smother and overtop other vegetation, it was ranked among the primary potential weed threats to Maui’s native dry forests which are among the most endangered native plant communities in the Hawaiian Islands (Medeiros et al., 1993; Chimera and Drake, 2010).

As a nitrogen-fixing species, N. wightii may also modify the composition of soil nutrients in invaded or introduced areas (FAO, 2015). 

Impact on Biodiversity

In Australia, N. wightii can negatively impact native plant biodiversity by climbing over and killing underlying native vegetation and by limiting or restricting native plant regeneration (Queensland Government, 2013). In the Hawaiian Islands, N. wightii has been identified as among the primary weed threats to seven listed or proposed endangered plant species of lower elevation, dry habitats, including: Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. mokuleianus (Malvaceae) on the island of Oahu; Bidens campylotheca subsp. pentamera (Asteraceae), Cyanea obtusa (Campanulaceae) and Schiedea salicaria (Caryophyllaceae) on the island of Maui; Canavalia pubescens (Fabaceae) on the islands of Lanai and Maui; Chrysodracon fernaldii (Asparagaceae) on the island of Lanai; and Santalum haleakalae var. lanaiense on the islands of Lanai, Maui and Molokai (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2003; 2012).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Bidens campylotheca subsp. pentamera (ko`oko`olau)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012
Canavalia pubescens (jack bean)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012
Chrysodracon fernaldii (hala pepe)EN (IUCN red list: Endangered) EN (IUCN red list: Endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012
Cyanea obtusa (bluntlobe cyanea)National list(s) National list(s); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012
Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. mokuleianusUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2003
Santalum haleakalae var. lanaiense (Lanai sandalwood)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012
Schiedea salicariaNational list(s) National list(s); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012

Social Impact

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In areas where cattle and other livestock are excluded, the dense, smothering cover of N. wightii may impede or restrict access or movement.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page 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
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Value

N. wightii is valued as a forage crop for cattle, goats, sheep and other livestock within its native and introduced ranges (Cook et al., 2005). Its palatability, persistence, ability to combine with grasses and other forage crops and ability to compete with pasture weeds such as Imperata cylindrica and Pteridium in north Queensland, Australia (FAO, 2015) and Lantana camara in the Hawaiian Islands (Motooka et al., 2003), suggest that it will continue to be utilized and promoted, even in areas where it may also be invasive (Cook et al., 2005).

Environmental Services

As a nitrogen-fixing legume reported to fix between 16.5 to 203 kg nitrogen/hectare, N. wightii may enhance soil nutrient composition and productivity of other plants (FAO, 2015). In the Hawaiian Islands, N. wightii was among the plants used for revegetation, soil stabilization and erosion control on the extremely degraded and nutrient-depleted island of Kahoolawe (Ziegler et al., 2000).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

Environmental

  • Revegetation
  • Soil conservation
  • Soil improvement

Materials

  • Green manure

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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In Australia, N. wightii may be confused with the native rhynchosia (Rhynchosia minima). These two species can be distinguished by differences in the flowers, pods and seeds. N. wightii has white or mauve-coloured flowers that turn orange when dry. The elongated pods are 15-36 mm in length, contain 4-7 seeds, and are usually covered in obvious rusty-coloured hairs. In contrast, R. minima has yellow flowers with reddish-coloured markings. The pods are also shorter (10-15 mm long), contain only 1-3 seeds, and are covered in short fine hairs (Queensland Government, 2013).

In the Hawaiian Islands, the introduced Calopogonium caeruleum is similar to N. wightii but differs in that it has a distinct upper stamen, glandular stipels, flowers with a blue standard, 9-11 mm long (vs a white standard, 4-7.5 mm long for N. wightii), and strongly septate, or partitioned, pods (Wagner et al., 1999). 

Prevention and Control

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Public Awareness

N. wightii is not a declared pest plant under Queensland legislation and has not been placed on the Hawaii state or US federal noxious weed lists. Where invasive, it has been the subject of an educational control brochure in Queensland and of an invasive species identification calendar for Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaiian Islands (Queensland Government, 2014; National Park Service, 2013). Both publications are primarily meant to educate the public about the threats that N. wightii and other invasive species pose to native ecosystems, and provide useful information on identification, detection and control in areas where it is unwanted.

Physical/Mechanical Control

Smaller plants may be hand pulled but because N. wightii is tolerant of, and able to resprout after, moderate grazing, larger individuals may recover from mechanical control efforts if all root material is not removed (FAO, 2015).

Movement Control

As seeds of N. wightii are readily dispersed in the droppings of cattle and other livestock, restricting the movements of these vectors may serve to minimize local dispersal (Simão Neto et al., 1987; Gardener et al., 1993a,b).

Chemical Control

Herbicides are reported to provide effective control of N. wightii. In Australia, foliar applications of picloram + triclopyr and dicamba have been successfully utilized (Cameron, 1984; Queensland Government, 2014) and foliar applications of triclopyr have proven effective in Hawaii (Motooka et al., 2003). Cook et al. (2005) report that N. wightii is tolerant of pre-emergence applications of trifluralin and benfluralin and that tolerance of 2,4-D and 2,4-DB improves with age.

References

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AVH, 2015. Australia's Virtual Herbarium. Canberra, ACT, Australia: Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. http://avh.chah.org.au/

Baskin CC; Baskin JM, 2014. Seeds ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination, Second edition. San Francisco, California, USA: Academic Press, 1600 pp.

Bishop Museum, 2015. Online database. Natural sciences collections. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Bishop Museum. http://nsdb.bishopmuseum.org/

Cameron DG, 1984. Tropical and subtropical pasture legumes. 4. Glycine (Neonotonia wightii): an outstanding but soil specific legume. Queensland Agricultural Journal, 110(6):311-316.

Carvalho AA de Jr; Figueiredo MB, 2000. The real identity of the soybean rust in Brazil. (A verdadeira identidade da ferrugem da soja no Brasil.) Summa Phytopathologica, 26(2):197-200.

Chimera CG; Drake DR, 2010. Patterns of seed dispersal and dispersal failure in a Hawaiian dry forest having only introduced birds. Biotropica, 42(4):493-502. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/btp

Cook B; Pengelly B; Brown S; Donnelly J; Eagle D; Franco A; Hanson J; Mullen B; Partridge I; Peters M; Schultze-Kraft R, 2005. Tropical Forages: an interactive selection tool. Brisbane, Australia: CSIRO, DPI&F (Qld), CIAT and ILRI. http://www.tropicalforages.info/

Csurhes S; Edwards R, 1998. Potential environmental weeds in Australia: candidate species for preventative control. Canberra, Australia: Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, 208 pp.

FAO, 2015. Grassland species profiles. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm

Febles G; Perez J; Padilla C, 1983. The effect of time of application of phosphoric fertilizer on Neonotonia wightii seed production. Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science, 17(2):183-190.

Gardener CJ; McIvor JG; Jansen A, 1993. Passage of legume and grass seeds through the digestive tract of cattle and their survival in faeces. Journal of Applied Ecology, 30(1):63-74.

Gardener CJ; McIvor JG; Jansen A, 1993. Survival of seeds of tropical grassland species subjected to bovine digestion. Journal of Applied Ecology, 30(1):75-85.

Groom A, 2012. Neonotonia wightii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. http://www.iucnredlist.org

Hughes GD, 1995. New Hawaiian plant records. II. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers [Records of the Hawaii biological survey for 1994. Part 2: notes.], No. 42:1-10.

ILDIS, 2014. International Legume Database and Information Service. Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, University of Reading. http://www.ildis.org/

Infonet-Biovision, 2011. Green manure / cover crop legumes. Switzerland: Biovision Foundation. http://www.infonet-biovision.org/default/ct/777/soilFertilityManagement

Jiang H; Fan Q; Li JT; Shi S; Li SP; Liao WB; Shu WS, 2011. Naturalization of alien plants in China. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20(7):1545-1556.

Lackey JA, 1977. Neonotonia, a new generic name to include Glycine wightii (Arnott) Verdcourt (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae). Phytologia, 37(3):209-212.

Lackey JA, 1980. Chromosome numbers in the Phaseoleae (Fabaceae:Faboideae) and their relationship to taxonomy. American Journal of Botany, 67(4):595-602.

Leal JC, 1960. Sown pastures in Sao Paulo. Revista da Faculdade de Agronomia e Veterinaria da Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul, 3(3):179-94.

Mabagala RB; Saettler AW, 1992. The role of weeds in survival of Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola in Northern Tanzania. Plant Disease, 76(7):683-687

Mears PT; Barkus B, 1970. Response of Glycine wightii to molybdenized superphosphate on a krasnozem. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, 10:415-425.

Medeiros AC; Loope LL; Chimera CG, 1993. Kanaio Natural Area Reserve biological inventory and management recommendations. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Natural Area Reserve System, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 94 pp.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Monzote M; Garcia M, 1990. The population required for the establishment of glycine (Neonotonia wightii) and siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) in grasses. Cuban Journal of Agricultural Science, 24(3):341-345.

Morais de LF; Almeida JCC; Deminicis BB; Pádua FTde; Morenz MJF; Abreu JBRde; Araujo RP; Nepomuceno DDde, 2014. Methods for breaking dormancy of seeds of tropical forage legumes. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5(13):1831-1835.

Motooka P; Castro L; Nelson D; Nagai G; Ching L, 2003. Weeds of Hawaii's Pastures and Natural Areas; an identification and management guide. Manoa, Hawaii, USA: College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii.

Murray BR; Phillips ML, 2012. Temporal introduction patterns of invasive alien plant species to Australia. NeoBiota, No.13:1-14.

National Park Service, 2013. Invasive species threats to Haleakala National Park. 2013 calendar. US Department of Interior, National Park Service Pacific Island Network, Inventory and Monitoring Program. http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/units/pacn/

Nogueira-Couto RH; Pereira JMS; Jong Dde, 1998. Pollination of Glycine wightii, a perennial soyabean, by Africanized honey bees. Journal of Apicultural Research, 37(4):289-291.

Pengelly BC; Benjamin AK, 1992. Neonotonia wightii (Wight & Arnott) Lackey [Internet] Record from Proseabase [ed. by Mannetje L't, Jones RM]. Bogor, Indonesia: Plant Resources of South-East Asia. http://www.proseanet.org

PIER, 2015. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Queensland Government, 2013. Weeds of Australia. Biosecurity Queensland edition. Australia: University of Queensland. http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/

Queensland Government, 2014. Glycine - Neonotonia wightii. Fact sheet. PP80. Queensland, Australia: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 2 pp.

Queensland Government, 2015. Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland edition. Queensland, Australia. http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/

Roubik DW, 1995. Pollination of cultivated plants in the tropics. FAO Services Bulletin 118. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 196 pp.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, 2008. Seed Information Database (SID). Version 7. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. http://data.kew.org/sid/

Shurtleff W; Aoyagi A, 2010. History of soybeans and soyfoods in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (1770-2010): Extensively annotated bibliography and sourcebook. Lafayatte, California, USA: Soyinfo Center, 544 pp.

Shurtleff W; Aoyagi A, 2014. History of soybeans and soyfoods in Japan, and in Japanese cookbooks and restaurants outside Japan. Lafayette, California, USA: Soyinfo Center, 3377 pp.

Simão Neto M; Jones RM; Ratcliff D, 1987. Recovery of pasture seed ingested by ruminants. 1. Seed of six tropical pasture species fed to cattle, sheep and goats. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 27(2):239-246.

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2003. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Final designations or non-designations of critical habitat for 101 plant species from the Island of Oahu, HI, 68(116). Portland, Oregon, USA: Federal Register, 35950-36406.

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2012. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Listing 38 species on Molokai, Lanai, and Maui as endangered and designating critical habitat on Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe for 135 species, 77(112). Portland, Oregon, USA: Federal Register, 34464-34775.

USDA-ARS, 2015. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2015. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Wagner WL; Herbst DR; Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, revised edition. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, Bishop Museum Press, 1919 pp.

Ziegler AD; Warren SD; Perry JL; Giambelluca TW, 2000. Reassessment of revegetation strategies for Kahoolawe Island, Hawaii. Journal of Range Management, 53:106-113.

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.
PIERhttp://www.hear.org/pier/index.html
Plant Ponohttp://www.plantpono.org/
PROTAhttp://www.prota4u.org/search.asp
Tropical Forageshttp://www.tropicalforages.info/index.htm

Organizations

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Australia: Biosecurity Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - DAFF, GPO Box 46, Brisbane QLD 4001, www.daf.qld.gov.au

Australia: CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, 306 Carmody Road, St Lucia, 4067, www.csiro.au/

Contributors

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31/05/2015 Original text by:

Charles Chimera, Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment, PO Box 983, Makawao, Hawaii 96768, USA

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