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Datasheet

Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 23 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Arthraxon hispidus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • small carpetgrass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. hispidus is a sprawling grass, native to East and Southern Asia, and Africa. It has been widely introduced across North and Central America and the Caribbean, and was first recorded in the USA in the 1870s....

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); habit. USA
TitleHabit
CaptionArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); habit. USA
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); habit. USA
HabitArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); habit. USA©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); foliage, leaves and stem. USA
TitleHabit
CaptionArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); foliage, leaves and stem. USA
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); foliage, leaves and stem. USA
HabitArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); foliage, leaves and stem. USA©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of leaves and stem. USA
TitleLeaves and stem
CaptionArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of leaves and stem. USA
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of leaves and stem. USA
Leaves and stemArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of leaves and stem. USA©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); flower(s), inflorescence. USA
TitleInflorescence
CaptionArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); flower(s), inflorescence. USA
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); flower(s), inflorescence. USA
InflorescenceArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); flower(s), inflorescence. USA©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of seeds. USA
TitleSeeds
CaptionArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of seeds. USA
Copyright©Steve Hurst/USDA NRCS PLANTS Database/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of seeds. USA
SeedsArthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass, joint-head grass); close-up of seeds. USA©Steve Hurst/USDA NRCS PLANTS Database/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Arthraxon hispidus (Thunb.) Makino (1912)

Preferred Common Name

  • small carpetgrass

Other Scientific Names

  • Arthraxon ciliaris P. Beauv. (1812)
  • Arthraxon micans (Nees) Hochst. (1856)
  • Arthraxon quartinianus (A, Rich.) Nash (1812)
  • Digitaria hispida (Thunb. (Spreng.) (1825)
  • Lasiolytrum hispidum (Thunb.) Steud. (1846)
  • Phalaris hispida Thunb. (1784)

International Common Names

  • English: hairy joint grass; small carpet grass

Local Common Names

  • Bhutan: charay naten
  • China: jin cau
  • Japan: kobuna-gusa
  • USA: basket grass; jointhead arthraxon; jointhead grass; small carp grass

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. hispidus is a sprawling grass, native to East and Southern Asia, and Africa. It has been widely introduced across North and Central America and the Caribbean, and was first recorded in the USA in the 1870s. In West Virginia and in Maryland, USA, A. hispidus is seen as a potential competitor to the endangered species Ptilimnium nodosum; 'Over the past decade, this aggressive grass has become widespread in many parts of the state (W. Virginia). As an annual it can compete directly…. for occupation of ephemeral habitat; without control, A. hispidus could overrun and locally extirpate P. nodosum.’ (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1990; 1998). It is listed as an invasive weed in a number of other states of USA, such as Kentucky (Louisville Water Company, 2013). Although widespread as a weed elsewhere, it has not otherwise been described as invasive, while in Australia it is itself treated as a threatened species (Australia, 2013).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Arthraxon
  •                                 Species: Arthraxon hispidus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Arthraxon hispidus was originally named by Thunberg as Phalaris hispida. It was subsequently re-named Digitaria hispida, and as Lasiolytrum hispidum. There are many other synonyms listed by Missouri Botanical Garden (2013) and by The Plant List (2013) but few of these are thought to be in current use. Possible exceptions are A. ciliaris, A. micans and A. quartinianus. Most authorities treat these as synonyms but Noltie (2000) considers that a form in Bhutan corresponding to A. quartinianus is sufficiently distinct from A. hispidus to deserve separate recognition. Occurrences in Africa are mostly recorded as A. micans or A. quartinianus but with some determined as A. hispidus.Clayton and Renvoize (1982) note that “A. micans is very closely allied to the Asiatic species A. hispidus…Typical specimens from Africa and the Far East are reasonably distinct, but the two species intermingle in India, where they are often difficult to separate with any confidence; it is arguable that the African plants should be treated as a subspecies.” These authors also list A. quartinianus as a synonym for A. micans.

Flora Zambesiaca (2013) uses the name A. micans but notes that Van Welzen (1981) in his revision of the genus “took a broad species concept and considered A. micans to be the same as the Asiatic A. hispidus (Thunb.) Makino, calling it var. hispidus.” Flora Zambesiaca (2013) also treats A. quartinianus as a synonym for A. micans.

For the purpose of this data sheet, A. ciliaris, A. micans and A. quartinianus are all treated as synonyms.

A number of subspecies and varieties have been named (Missouri Botanic Garden, 2013), including var. hispidus and var. centrasiaicus, which are distinguished in the Flora of China (2013). In USA, specimens were generally attributed to var. hispidus and var. cryptatherus but the distinction is no longer regarded as reliable.

Description

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A. hispidus is sometimes considered to be perennial, as in Bhutan where it is described as ‘usually perennial’ (Noltie, 2000), but it is more commonly described as annual. It is a sprawling plant, rooting at the nodes with flowering stems up to 30 cm high; nodes hairy. Leaves are relatively short and broad, narrowly obovate up to 5 cm long and 15 mm wide, auricled at the base and acutely tipped, variably glabrous or hairy on the margins. Ligule 0.5-3 mm. Inflorescence a set of up to 10 or more racemes, up to 5 cm long, pale green or purple, variously glabrous to shortly hairy. Sessile spikelet up to 7 mm long; lower glume lanceolate, convex, 6-9-nerved with scabrid veins. Upper glume slightly longer with awn up to 11 mm long in typical forms but may be much shorter and hardly exserted. Pedicelled spikelet occasionally present at the tip of the raceme, but usually absent with pedicel a stump up to 2 mm long. Anthers 2, about 1 mm long.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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A. hispidus is native to East and Southern Asia, and to Africa; occurrences in East Africa (mostly as A. micans or A. quartinianus) are treated by Clayton and Renvoize (1982) as native and the species in this wider sense is presumed to be native to the continent as a whole. It has been introduced further west in Asia, into Iran (Hamzeh'ee and Naqinezhad, 2009) and Georgia (Kolakovskii and Yabrova-Kalakovskaya, 1976) and quite widely into North and Central America and the Caribbean, also locally into South America.

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

BangladeshPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans
BhutanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
China
-AnhuiPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-FujianPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-GuizhouPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-HebeiPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-HeilongjiangPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-HenanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-HubeiPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-JiangsuPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-JiangxiPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-Nei MengguPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-NingxiaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-ShaanxiPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-ShandongPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-SichuanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-XinjiangPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-ZhejiangPresentFlora of China, 2013
Georgia (Republic of)LocalisedIntroducedKolakovskii and Yabrova-Kalakovskaya, 1976First recorded in 1976
IndiaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-Arunachal PradeshPresentNativeShukla, 1996
-BiharPresentNativeShukla, 1996
-KarnatakaPresentNativeShukla, 1996
-Madhya PradeshPresentNativeKunhikannan, 2008
-NagalandPresentNativeShukla, 1996
-Tamil NaduPresentNativeShukla, 1996
-West BengalPresentNativeShukla, 1996
IndonesiaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
IranPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
JapanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-HokkaidoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-HonshuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-KyushuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
-ShikokuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
KazakhstanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
Korea, Republic ofPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
KyrgyzstanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
LaosPresentNativeGBIF, 2013
MalaysiaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
NepalPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
OmanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
PakistanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
PhilippinesPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
Sri LankaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
TaiwanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
TajikistanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
ThailandPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
TurkeyPresentNativeGBIF, 2013
UzbekistanPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
VietnamPresentNativeGBIF, 2013
YemenPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans

Africa

AngolaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013
BurundiPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans
CameroonPresentNativeHutchinson et al., 1972As A. quartinianus
Central African RepublicPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. quartinianus, A. micans
Equatorial GuineaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013
EritreaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. quartinianus
EthiopiaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. quartinianus, A. micans
GhanaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. quartinianus
GuineaPresentNativeHutchinson et al., 1972; GBIF, 2013As A. quartinianus
KenyaPresentNativeClayton and Renvoize, 1982As A. micans
MadagascarPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. mauritianus
MalawiPresentNativeFlora Zambesiaca, 2013As A. micans
MauritiusPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans
MozambiquePresentNativeFlora Zambesiaca, 2013As A. micans
NigeriaPresentNativeHutchinson et al., 1972As A. quartinianus
RwandaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans
Sierra LeonePresentNativeHutchinson et al., 1972
SomaliaPresentNativeGBIF, 2013As A. micans
TanzaniaPresentNativeClayton and Renvoize, 1982As A. micans
UgandaPresentNativeClayton and Renvoize, 1982As A. micans
ZambiaPresentNativeFlora Zambesiaca, 2013As A. micans

North America

MexicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013Chaiapas and Colima
USA
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedLamont and Glenn, 2009
-DelawarePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-District of ColumbiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-MarylandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-MississippiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedLamont and Glenn, 2009First collected in 1965
-New YorkPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-OregonPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-TexasPresentIntroduced1991USDA-NRCS, 2013
-VirginiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-West VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2013

Central America and Caribbean

Costa RicaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013Alajuela
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013Quetzaltenango
HondurasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013Francisco Morazan
JamaicaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013Matagalpa

South America

ColombiaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013
EcuadorPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2013Portuguesa, Trujillo

Europe

MonacoLocalisedGBIF, 2013As A. ciliaris
Russian Federation
-Russian Far EastPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013

Oceania

AustraliaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013
-New South WalesPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2013
-QueenslandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2013
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeFlora of China, 2013

History of Introduction and Spread

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Kiger (1971) reviews the introduction and spread of A. hispidus in USA, the first records being from the 1870s when it was known as A. ciliaris. Later records distinguish two forms as A. hispidus var. cryptatherus with smaller spikelets and awns not exserted, and var. hispidus with larger distinctly awned spikelets. But all intermediates occur and the distinction is no longer considered reliable. In 1935 it was known from Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Oregon. By 1950 it was recorded also in Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Virginia and Washington. By 1968, it was found in North and South Carolina and in Mississippi (Kiger, 1971). Nesom (2011) records its arrival in Texas in 1991. In Mexico, the earliest specimen recorded by GBIF (2013) is from 1964, but it may have been there much earlier. Other records from Central America and the Caribbean are mostly later than this.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
USA 1870s Kiger, 1971 Under name of A. ciliaris

Risk of Introduction

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In the USA, A. hispidus is already well established in the southern half of the Torrey Range and is expected to spread further into the northern half (Lamont and Glenn, 2009). This could result in competition between this weed, which is known to form dense stands in suitable conditions (Leck and Leck, 2005), and the native vegetation.

Habitat

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In USA, Kiger (1971) records occurrence in a wide range of habitats from wet to relatively dry; in shallow water and along stream and pond edges, on sand bars, in low woods and in fields, roadsides and gardens. In New Jersey, USA, it colonized a tidal freshwater mitigation wetland near the high tide line where it was present for several years until replaced by taller species, such as Phragmites australis (Leck and Leck, 2005). Nesom (2011) records it in lawns in Texas, USA. It is also a common weed of orchards, tea fields, and roadsides (Bugwood, 2013). In China, it is a plant of streamsides, damp meadows, among crops and in other moist places, up to 2300 m (Flora of China, 2013). A number of publications from China refer to the co-dominance of A. hispidus in the understory of several forest species including pines. It is noted occurring in shady clearings in West Africa (Hutchinson et al., 1972).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Wetlands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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A. hispidus occurs in tea fields, orchards, grasslands and gardens, but no serious damage has been recorded. It is a weed of direct-seeded, dry-sown rice in Korea (Ku et al., 1993).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeMain
Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

A. hispidus is described by Chen and Phillips (2006) as an extremely polymorphic, polyploid species with 2n =10, 18 or 36. Aguillera et al. (2011) indicates n = 9, so the commonest forms with 2n = 36 are presumably tetraploid.        

Reproductive Biology

A. hispidus establishes from seed each year. Very little detailed information is available on germination but Wang and Gao (2010) report the effects of prolonged submergence; there was a stimulatory effect of short-term (30 days) submergence but inhibition from more prolonged submergence.

Physiology and Phenology

Usually behaving as an annual A. hispidus establishes from seed each year. Flowering stems appear towards the end of the summer in USA.

Shi et al. (2007) confirm that A. hispidus has C4 metabolism and demonstrate the effects of soil water and wind velocity on associated leaf anatomy.

Ueno (1995) describes bundle-sheath-like cells that are not associated with vascular tissue. Known as distinctive cells, they occasionally occur as single or multiple files in the mesophyll in leaves of A. hispidus.

Longevity

Sometimes described as perennial, but no indication of any prolonged perennation.

Nutrition

A. hispidus is apparently favoured by high nitrogen levels as it decreased markedly when grassland ceased to be fertilized (Kondo et al., 1985).

Hwang et al. (2003) noted that A. hispidus at sites in Korea was associated with soils high in magnesium and phosphorous.

Associations

In Korean arboreta, A. hispidus was associated with Digitaria sanguinalis (Hwang et al., 2003). 

Environmental Requirements

A. hispidus is apparently favoured by relatively moist conditions and full or at least partial sunlight. A. hispidus does not tolerate acidic soils, a pH of 5.6 proving fatal in a study by Suaghara (1981).

In Japan, A. hispidus was found to be more common in upland conditions than lowland, but had a wider tolerance of moisture conditions than some other C4 grasses (Takeda et al., 1977).

Yan et al. (2006) observed that A. hispidus is highly tolerant of manganese and copper on old mining sites.

It is apparently quite tolerant of ozone and acid rain (Ohkuru et al., 1993).

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 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])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
45 30

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Agrotis ipsilon Predator
Agrotis segetum Predator
Agrotis tokionis Predator
Albugo ipomoeae-panduratae Pathogen
Anomis flava Predator
Bremia graminicola Pathogen to species
Colletotrichum destructivum Pathogen not specific
Ephelis oryzae Pathogen
Helicoverpa armigera Predator
Helicoverpa assulta Predator
Mamestra brassicae Predator
Mycovellosiella arthraxonis Pathogen not specific
Phyllachora arthraxonis Pathogen
Puccinia aestivalis Pathogen
Puccinia arthraxonis Pathogen
Puccinia arthraxonis-ciliaris Pathogen
Puccinia benguetensis Pathogen
Pyrrhia umbra Predator
Sphacelotheca arthraxonis Pathogen
Sphaeroderma apicale Predator
Spodoptera littoralis Predator
Thanatephorus cucumeris Pathogen
Xylena formosa Predator

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Bugwood (2013) lists a range of fungal and invertebrate species associated with Arthraxon species (see Natural Enemies Table) but it is not clear which of these affect A. hispidus.

The fungus Bremia graminicola is thought likely to be host specific to A. hispidus (Q-Bank, 2013).

Colletotrichum destructivum has been identified on the grass in Japan (Takeuchi et al., 2012).

Mycovellosiella arthraxonis (a new species) is reported from China by Guo and Xu (2002).

Vánky (2001) notes records of Sphacelotheca arthraxonis on A. quartinianus.

Ephelis oryzae was reported in India by Rao et al. (1959).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

A. hispidus has no specialized dispersal mechanism so seeds are presumably spread by cultivation, water and strong winds.

Accidental Introduction

Its introduction has presumably been as a result of the introduction of contaminated grass seeds or hay, but there is no documentation of this.

Intentional Introduction   

Deliberate introduction may have occurred occasionally where there was interest in growing the species for its yellow dye, but no documentation has been seen.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop production Yes Yes
Forage Yes Yes
Hitchhiker Yes Yes
Seed trade Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Aircraft Yes
Floating vegetation and debris Yes
Plants or parts of plants Yes
Water Yes
Wind Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds

Impact Summary

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

Economic Impact

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A. hispidus occurs in tea fields, orchards, grasslands and gardens (Q-Bank, 2013), but no serious damage has been recorded. It is a weed of direct-seeded, dry-sown rice in Korea (Ku et al., 1993) but again is not regarded as a significant problem.

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

In its introduced range in USA, A. hispidus has a high seed bank capability and so is noted to form dense stands in suitable moist conditions and does therefore have the potential to modify the habitat.     

Impact on Biodiversity

As the species can form dense stands, particularly along shorelines, it may negatively impact other species and threaten native vegetation (Ohtsuka and Ohsawa 1994, Leck and Leck 2005). In West Virginia and in Maryland, USA, A. hispidus is seen as a potential competitor to the endangered species Ptilimnium nodosum (Apiaceae): ‘Over the past decade, this aggressive grass has become widespread in many parts of the state (West Virginia). As an annual it can compete directly….for occupation of ephemeral habitat; without control, A. hispidus could overrun and locally extirpate P. nodosum’ (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1990; 1998).

Although widespread as a weed elsewhere, it has not generally been described as invasive.

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Ptilimnium nodosum (harperella)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesMaryland; West VirginiaCompetition - monopolizing resourcesFish and Wildlife, 1998; US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1990

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Competition - monopolizing resources

Impact outcomes

  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species

Invasiveness

  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Has a broad native range
  • Has high genetic variability
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Reproduces asexually

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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Economic Value

Mouri et al. (2011) describe how A. hispidus has been the source of dyes long used in China and Japan. They further identify the flavonoids responsible for the colour from this species and from Misccanthus tinctorius and are able to confirm their use in some very old textiles, over 1000 years old. Ishigami et al. (2001) note that it is currently being cultivated for this purpose on Hachijo Island, Japan; the cultivated accessions show synchronous branching and heading, larger leaves, enlarged spikes and spikelets and longer internodes, and more uniform maturation compared with wild accessions.

Social Benefit

The plant has been used for relieving sore throats (Q-Bank, 2013).

Uses List

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Materials

  • Dyestuffs

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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In Africa, A. lancifolius is distinguished from ‘A. quartinianus’ and ‘A. micans’ by more often having a developed pedicelled spikelet, racemes with long silky hairs, and leaves very short, only 1-4 cm.In Flora of China (2013)A. lancifolius and A. microphyllus are distinguished from A. hispidus by generally smooth spikelets; and A. multinervis by its taller stature up to 60 cm, and by 9-11 nerves on the lower glume.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There is a serious lack of information on germination requirements and longevity, and also on the plants response to herbicides.

References

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Contributors

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30/03/2013 Original text by:

Chris Parker, Bristol, UK

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