Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Erechtites hieraciifolius
(American burnweed)

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Datasheet

Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 03 January 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Erechtites hieraciifolius
  • Preferred Common Name
  • American burnweed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Erechtites hieraciifolius is a fast-growing, annual herb that is native to North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is recorded as an environmental and agricultural weed in areas both within and o...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.
Copyright©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.
HabitErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.
Copyright©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.
HabitErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. USA.©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. nr. Wołów, south western Poland. July 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. nr. Wołów, south western Poland. July 2015.
Copyright©Krzysztof Ziarnek/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. nr. Wołów, south western Poland. July 2015.
HabitErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit. nr. Wołów, south western Poland. July 2015.©Krzysztof Ziarnek/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowering habit. Machida city, Tokyo, Japan. September 2006.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowering habit. Machida city, Tokyo, Japan. September 2006.
Copyright©Sphl/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowering habit. Machida city, Tokyo, Japan. September 2006.
Flowering habitErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowering habit. Machida city, Tokyo, Japan. September 2006.©Sphl/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowers. USA.
TitleFlowers
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowers. USA.
Copyright©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowers. USA.
FlowersErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); flowers. USA.©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit, showing seeding heads. USA.
TitleHabit
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit, showing seeding heads. USA.
Copyright©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit, showing seeding heads. USA.
HabitErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); habit, showing seeding heads. USA.©Robert Vidéki/Doronicum Kft./Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); seeding head. USA.
TitleSeedhead
CaptionErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); seeding head. USA.
Copyright©Johnny N. Dell/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); seeding head. USA.
SeedheadErechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed); seeding head. USA.©Johnny N. Dell/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Erechtites hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC

Preferred Common Name

  • American burnweed

Other Scientific Names

  • Erechtites agrestis (Sw.) Standl. & Steyerm.
  • Erechtites cacalioides (Fisch. ex Spreng.) Less.
  • Erechtites carduifolius (Cass.) DC.
  • Erechtites hieracifolia (L.) Raf.
  • Erechtites hieraciifolius Walp.
  • Erechtites praealtus Raf.
  • Erechtites sulcata Gardner
  • Gynura aspera Ridl.
  • Gynura malasica (Ridl.) Ridl.
  • Neoceis carduifolia Cass.
  • Senecio carduifolius (Cass.) Desf.
  • Senecio hieraciifolius L.

International Common Names

  • English: American fireweed; burnweed; fireweed; Malayan groundsel; pilewort
  • Spanish: achicoria; lechiguilla
  • French: crève-à-yeux; érechtite à feuilles d’ épervièr
  • Chinese: liang zi cai
  • Portuguese: caruru-amargoso

Local Common Names

  • Bahamas: eastern fireweed
  • Czech Republic: star
  • Dominican Republic: semilla quemada
  • El Salvador: té del suelo
  • Germany: amerikanisches Scheingreiskraut; Scheinkreuzkraut
  • Haiti: coté soleil
  • Hungary: amerikai keresztlapu
  • Lesser Antilles: laitue sauvage
  • Poland: erechtites jastrzębcowaty
  • Puerto Rico: achicoria de cabra
  • USA: butterweed; eastern burnweed; white fireweed

Summary of Invasiveness

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Erechtites hieraciifolius is a fast-growing, annual herb that is native to North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. It is recorded as an environmental and agricultural weed in areas both within and outside its native distribution. Mature plants can produce large amounts of wind-dispersed seed, facilitating the colonisation of new areas. It is adapted to grow in a wide range of disturbed anthropogenic habitats and can outcompete other species to form dense populations. It may also spread as a seed contaminant of crops. Currently, it is listed as invasive in Hong Kong, Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Palau, US Minor Outlying Islands, New Zealand and Hungary. It is also considered a potential weed in Australia, where it is under quarantine.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Asterales
  •                         Family: Asteraceae
  •                             Genus: Erechtites
  •                                 Species: Erechtites hieraciifolius

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Asteraceae, with 1620 genera and more than 23,600 species, is one of the most diverse families of flowering plants (Stevens, 2012). Species within the Asteraceae are very variable in their growth form and habitat, but may be recognized by their capitulate and involucrate inflorescences, in which numerous small flowers open on the outside and are infrequently subtended by bracts. The anthers in this family are usually fused and form a tube through which the style extends before the two stigmatic lobes separate and become recurved. The rather small, single-seeded fruits usually have a plumose ‘pappus’ and are frequently dispersed by wind (Stevens, 2012; Flora Mesoamericana, 2016).

Erechtites is a small genus native to the New World, which comprises about 15 species (Flora Mesoamericana, 2016). The species name Erechtites hieraciifolius is often misspelled as E. hieracifolia or E. hieraciifolia but, according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (McNeill et al., 2006), Erechtites hieraciifolius is the correct name.

Description

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The following description is from the Flora of China Editorial Committee (2016):

Herbs, annual. Stem solitary, erect, 40-100 cm tall, simple or much branched in upper part, striate, sparsely pubescent. Leaves sessile, winged; blade lanceolate to oblong, 7-16 x 3-4 cm, both surfaces glabrous or shortly pubescent on veins, pinnately veined, basally gradually attenuate or subamplexicaul, margin irregularly coarsely dentate, apex acute or shortly acuminate. Capitula numerous, arranged in terminal corymb, ca 15 x 1.5-1.8 mm. Involucres yellowish to brown-green, tubular, calyculate at base, bracteoles linear; phyllaries uniseriate, linear or linear-lanceolate, 8-11 x 0.5-1 mm, glabrous or sparsely pilose, margin narrowly scarious, apically acute or rather obtuse. Florets numerous, greenish or red tinged, tubular; outer florets uni- or biseriate, corolla filiform, 7-11 mm, 4- or 5-denticulate; central florets minutely tubular, 8-12 mm, 5-denticulate. Achenes cylindric, 2.5-3 mm, conspicuously ribbed. Pappus white, 7-8 mm.

Distribution

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E. hieraciifolius is native to the Americas, from southeast Canada to northern Argentina and the Caribbean (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Flora Mesoamericana, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016). It has been widely introduced to China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Cuba and middle and southeastern Europe (Darbyshire et al., 2012; DAISIE, 2016; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; PIER, 2016). It is also listed as invasive in Hong Kong, Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands, Hungary and a number of islands in Oceania, including New Zealand (Wagner et al., 1999; Wu, 2001; Csiszár, 2006; PIER, 2016).

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

ChinaPresentIntroducedPresent based on regional records
-FujianPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-GuizhouPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-Hong KongPresentIntroduced Invasive Wu, 2001
-SichuanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
-YunnanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedPresent based on regional records
-JavaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2016
JapanPresentIntroducedDarbyshire et al., 2012
-Bonin IslandPresentIntroducedMito and Uesugi, 2004
Korea, DPRPresentIntroducedDarbyshire et al., 2012
Korea, Republic ofPresentIntroducedDarbyshire et al., 2012
SingaporePresentIntroducedChong et al., 2009Naturalized
TaiwanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2016

North America

CanadaPresentNativePresent based on regional records
-New BrunswickPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-Nova ScotiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OntarioPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-Prince Edward IslandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-QuebecPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
MexicoPresentNativeFlora Mesoamericana, 2016
USAPresentPresent based on regional records
-AlabamaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-ArkansasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-CaliforniaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-ConnecticutPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-DelawarePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-District of ColumbiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-FloridaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-GeorgiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999
-IllinoisPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-IndianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-IowaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-KansasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-KentuckyPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-LouisianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MainePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MarylandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MassachusettsPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MichiganPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MinnesotaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MississippiPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-MissouriPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-NebraskaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New HampshirePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New JerseyPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-New YorkPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-North CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OhioPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OklahomaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-OregonPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-PennsylvaniaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-Rhode IslandPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-South CarolinaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-South DakotaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-TennesseePresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-VermontPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-WashingtonPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-West VirginiaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016
-WisconsinPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2016

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
BahamasPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
BelizePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Tortola
Cayman IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
Costa RicaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
CubaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
DominicaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
El SalvadorPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
GrenadaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
GuadeloupePresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
GuatemalaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
HaitiPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
HondurasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
JamaicaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
MartiniquePresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Netherlands AntillesPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
NicaraguaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
PanamaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
Puerto RicoPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Saint LuciaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007; Graveson, 2012
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Sint EustatiusPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Sint MaartenPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Trinidad and TobagoPresentNativeFlora Mesoamericana, 2016
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012St Croix, St Thomas

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
BoliviaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
BrazilPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-AcrePresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-AmazonasPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-BahiaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-CearaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Distrito FederalPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Espirito SantoPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-GoiasPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Mato GrossoPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Minas GeraisPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-ParaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-ParanaPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-PernambucoPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-Sao PauloPresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
-SergipePresentNativeFlora do Brasil, 2016
ColombiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
EcuadorPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016; Díaz et al., 2018
French GuianaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007; USDA-ARS, 2016
GuyanaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007; USDA-ARS, 2016
ParaguayPresentNativeFlora Mesoamericana, 2016
PeruPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
SurinamePresentNativeFunk et al., 2007; USDA-ARS, 2016
UruguayPresentNativeFlora Mesoamericana, 2016
VenezuelaPresentNativeFlora Mesoamericana, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016

Europe

Czech RepublicPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2016Listed as E. hieraciifolia. Established
GermanyPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2016Listed as E. hieraciifolia. Established
HungaryPresentIntroduced Invasive Csiszár, 2006; DAISIE, 2016Neophyte
PolandPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2016Listed as E. hieraciifolia. Established
RomaniaPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2016Listed as E. hieraciifolia. Established

Oceania

French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
PalauPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016
US Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2016

History of Introduction and Spread

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E. hieraciifolius became a common weed across North America after the great forests were cleared in the early nineteenth century. It became particularly abundant in disturbed sites and areas of forest clearance, particularly those that had been cleared by fire (Darbyshire et al., 2012). By 1818, this species was described as one of the most common weeds in the USA (Darbyshire et al., 2012). This species may also have been introduced to countries outside its native range as a seed contaminant (USDA-ARS, 2016).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of E. hieraciifolius is moderate to high. Even though this species does not have any notable economic uses, it is one of the most common weeds in agricultural lands in North America and its seeds can easily be dispersed as a contaminant among crop and pasture seed.

Habitat

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E. hieraciifolius behaves as a weed, growing in a wide range of anthropogenic habitats where vegetation is regularly disturbed or maintained at early successional stages; these include burned areas, clearings, cultivated lands, disturbed sites, open hillsides, pastures, roadsides, secondary vegetation, strand vegetation and stream sides (Vibrans, 2009; Darbyshire et al., 2012; Flora de Nicaragua, 2016; Flora Mesoamericana, 2016; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 2016). In the USA, Mexico and Canada, it is a common herb in coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests, where it grows in places receiving some direct sunlight such as openings, forest edges or along trails (Vibrans, 2009; Darbyshire et al., 2012). E. hieraciifolius grows at elevations from sea level to 1400 m (Flora de Nicaragua, 2016).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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E. hieraciifolius has been listed as a weed of the following crops: oat (Avena sativa), barley (Hordeum vulgare), maize (Zea mays), strawberry (Fragaria ananassa), onion (Allium cepa), carrot (Daucus carota), cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum); it is also a weed of fodder crops (e.g. Medicago sativa) and of mixed pastures (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Growth Stages

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Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for E. hieraciifolius is 2n = 40 (Coleman, 1982).

Reproductive Biology

The capitula of E. hieraciifolius are thought to be primarily autogamous. The absence of ligulate florets suggests it is unlikely to be insect pollinated (Darbyshire et al., 2012). This species does not reproduce vegetatively (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Physiology and Phenology

Seeds of E. hieraciifolius usually germinate in spring, but this can occur later at higher latitudes (Darbyshire et al., 2012). In Mexico and Central America, E. hieraciifolius produces flowers and fruits throughout the year (Vibrans, 2009; Flora de Nicaragua, 2016; Flora Mesoamericana, 2016). However, in North America, flowering often begins in late July, and seed maturation occurs mostly through mid-August to early October (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Associations

In Tennessee, USA, the roots of E. hieraciifolius are extensively colonized by endomycorrhizae (Farmer et al., 1982).

Environmental Requirements

E. hieraciifolius has a wide native distribution, so it can be found in areas with considerable variation in mean annual temperature, rainfall and day length. It is adapted to a wide range of soil types including sand, clay, loam, rock and gravel, with pH ranging from 4.5 to 8 (Darbyshire et al., 2012; Flora Mesoamericana, 2016).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 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 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)
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)
49 45 0 1400

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 4 29

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Ampelomyces quisqualis Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Athelia rolfsii Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Bidens mottle virus Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Brachycaudus helichrysi Herbivore not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Bremia lactucae Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Erysiphe betae Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Golovinomyces cichoracearum Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Harmonia conformis Herbivore Inflorescence not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Hypercompe icasia Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Liriomyza sativae Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Liriomyza trifolii Herbivore not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Lygus lineolaris Herbivore not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Meloidogyne enterolobii Parasite Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Meloidogyne incognita Parasite Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Meloidogyne javanica Parasite Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Mycosphaerella erechtitidina Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Nemorimyza maculosa Herbivore Leaves not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Nyctemera adversata Herbivore not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Palthis asopialis Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Phyllocnistis insignis Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Phyllosticta erechtitis Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Phymatotrichopsis omnivora Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Plasmopara halstedii Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Platphalonidia subolivacea Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Platyptilia farfarellus Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Podosphaera fuliginea Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Podosphaera macularis Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Ramularia wisconsina Pathogen Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Sphaerotheca castagnei Pathogen not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012
Tyria jacobaeae Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific Darbyshire et al., 2012

Notes on Natural Enemies

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A number of herbivorous insects have been recorded on E. hieraciifolius, including the Chinese labybeetle, Harmonia conformis, which feeds on blossom (Darbyshire et al., 2012). Several moth species such as Hypercompe icasia, Platyptilia farfarellus and Platphalonidia subolivacea have been reported to include E. hieraciifolius in their host range (Robinson et al., 2010). E. hieraciifolius is also a host of a number of leaf-mining insects. Phyllocnistis insignis occurs in the USA, but has not yet been reported in Canada, despite its presence in border US states (Darbyshire et al., 2012). Nemorimyza maculosa, a leaf miner fly, causes large blotch mines on leaves (Darbyshire et al., 2012). The extent of any damage to E. hieraciifolia by these species is unknown.

In tropical and subtropical regions, the root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne enterolobii, M. javanica and M. incognita have been reported on E. hieraciifolius (Darbyshire et al., 2012). A wide range of fungi have also been reported on E. hieraciifolius, including powdery mildews, downy mildews, leaf spot fungi and stem and root rot fungi (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

E. hieraciifolius is also a host for the Bidens mottle virus (BMV), which affects lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and endive (Cichorium endivia) crops (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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E. hieraciifolius spreads by seed (Flora de Nicaragua, 2016; Flora Mesoamericana, 2016). The pappus of copious large hairs at the apex of the seed facilitates wind dispersal. Mature plants are capable of producing thousands of seeds (>30,000 seeds per plant). Seeds are also dispersed as a seed contaminant of crops and through the movement of harvesting equipment and vehicles (Csiszár, 2006; Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Economic Impact

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E. hieraciifolius is an environmental and agricultural weed. In Canada and the USA, it is a serious weed of crops (e.g. oat, barley, maize, cranberry and blueberry) and mixed pastures (Darbyshire et al., 2012). It has also become a serious agricultural weed in Hawaii, invading sugar cane plantations, cultivated areas and pastures (Wagner et al., 1999; Darbyshire et al., 2012; PIER, 2016).

Environmental Impact

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E. hieraciifolius is primarily a weed of ruderal areas, is fast-growing and can form dense populations, altering successional processes. Growing to almost 2 m in height, it is able to outcompete other species for light, water and nutrients (Csiszár, 2006). Its high seed production and seed viability lead to abundant and long-term seed reserves in soil (Csiszár, 2006). This is likely to present challenges for the control of the species.

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
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
Impact outcomes
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Social Benefit

In Bolivia, the leaves and flowers of E. hieraciifolius are used in traditional medicine as a blood depurative and the roots are used to treat cardiac disease (Lorenzo et al., 2001). In Asia, young leaves are sometimes eaten as a vegetable (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016).

Environmental Services

Trials performed in Japan using E. hieraciifolius showed that this species is very efficient at assimilating atmospheric nitrogen dioxide. These studies suggested that E. hieraciifolius plants have the potential to act as important sinks for anthropogenic nitrogen oxides and that “green walls” using this species could be set up around buildings and highway corridors to help sequester pollutants from car emissions or other sources (Morikawa et al., 1998; 2003; Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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E. hieraciifolius is morphologically similar to Senecio vulgaris. However, S. vulgaris has deeply lobed mid-stem leaves (appearing coarsely pinnatifid), lobes obtuse rather than acute, calycular bracts with black tips and smaller capitula than E. hieraciifolius (Darbyshire et al., 2012). 

In Canada, several native perennial species of Packera, such as P. indecora and P. paupercula, can be confused with E. hieraciifolius. These perennial species can be distinguished by their smaller seeds, lower leaves that are distinctly spatulate with a long petiole (usually as long as or longer than the blade) and their lyrate mid-stem leaves (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

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

Small infestations of E. hieraciifolius can be controlled by hoeing and hand pulling. Manual pulling and mowing should be performed prior to seed production (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

Chemical Control

The following herbicides have been used in Canada and the USA to control E. hieraciifolius infestations (Darbyshire et al., 2012):

  • Sulfometuron
  • Hexazinone
  • Mixture of clopyralid and triclopyr
  • Mixture of dicamba, thiencarbazone-methyl and iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium
  • Mixture of trifluralin and isoxaben

Herbicide tolerance was reported in E. hieraciifolius in Hawaii after less than 10 years of heavy use of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in sugarcane fields (Darbyshire et al., 2012).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Barbados: The University of the West Indies. http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

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. https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

Coleman JR, 1982. Chromosome numbers of Angiosperms collected in the state of São Paulo. Revista Brasil Genetica, 5:533-549

Csiszár Á, 2006. Study of the generative reproduction of the fireweed (Erechtites hieracifolia Raf. ex DC.). In: Rabitsch W, Klingenstein F, Essl F, eds. Neobiota: From Ecology to Conservation. 4th European Conference on Biological Invasions. Vienna, Austria, 27-29 September 2006. Bonn, Germany: Bfn-Skripten, 101

DAISIE, 2016. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. European Invasive Alien Species Gateway. http://www.europe-aliens.org/default.do

Darbyshire SJ, Francis A, DiTommaso A, Clements DR, 2012. The Biology of Canadian weeds. 150 Erechtites hieraciifolius (L.) Raf. ex DC. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 92:729-746

Díaz PJ, Guézou A, Mauchamp A, Tye A, 2018. CDF Checklist of Galapagos Flowering Plants. In: Bungartz F, Herrera H, Jaramillo P, Tirado N, Jiménez-Uzcátegui G, Ruiz D, Guézou A. and Ziemmeck F., eds. Charles Darwin Foundation Galapagos Species Checklist. Puerto Ayora, Galapagos: Charles Darwin Foundation

Farmer RE, Cunningham M, Barnhill MA, 1982. First-year development of plant communities originating from forest topsoils placed on southern Appalachian minesoils. Journal of Applied Ecology, 19:283-294

Flora de Nicaragua, 2016. Flora de Nicaragua. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org.Project/FN

Flora do Brasil, 2016. Brazilian Flora 2020 in construction. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br

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

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2016. 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

Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 2016. Flora of North America North of Mexico. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1

Funk, V., Hollowell, T., Berry, P., Kelloff, C., Alexander, S. N., 2007. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, Department of Systematic Biology - Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 55, 584 pp.

Graveson R, 2012. Plants of Saint Lucia (in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean). http://www.saintlucianplants.com

Lorenzo D, Saavedra G, Loayza I, Dellacassa E, 2001. Composition of the essential oil of Erechtites hieracifolia from Bolivia. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 16:353-355

McNeill J, Barrie FR, Burdet HM, Demoulin V, Hawksworth DL, Marhold K, Nicolson DL, Prado J, Silva PC, Skog JE, Wiersema JH, Turland NJ, 2006. International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Regnum Vegetabile 146. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag KG, 568 pp

Mito T, Uesugi T, 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research, 8:171-191

Morikawa H, Higaki A, Nohno M, Takahashi M, Kamada M, Nakata M, Toyohara G, Okamura Y, Matsui K, Kitani S, Fujita K, Irifune K, Goshima N, 1998. More than 600-fold variation in nitrogen dioxide assimilation among 217 plant taxa. Plant Cell and Environment, 21:180-190

Morikawa, H., Takahashi, M., Hakata, M., Sakamoto, A., 2003. Screening and genetic manipulation of plants for decontamination of pollutants from the environments. Biotechnology Advances, 22(1/2), 9-15. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2003.08.013

PIER, 2016. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Robinson GS, Ackery PR, Kitching IJ, Beccaloni GW, Hernandez LM, 2010. HOSTS: A Database of the World’s Lepidopteran Host plants. London, UK: Natural History Museum

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

USDA-ARS, 2016. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl

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

Vibrans H, 2009. Malezas de México. Listado alfabético de las especies, ordenadas por género (Weeds of Mexico. Alphabetical list of species, ordered by genera). http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/2inicio/paginas/lista-plantas-generos.htm

Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R., Sohmer, S. H., 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i, Vols. 1 and 2, (Edn 2) : University of Hawai'i and Bishop Museum Press.xviii + 1919 pp.

Wu T, 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised):384 pp. http://www.hkflora.com/v2/flora/plant_check_list.php

Contributors

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13/02/17 Original text by:

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

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