Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Erechtites valerianifolius
(tropical burnweed)

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Datasheet

Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Erechtites valerianifolius
  • Preferred Common Name
  • tropical burnweed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Erechtites valerianifolius is a herbaceous plant, a member of the family Asteraceae, which is native to Central and South America (and Mexico) and has been introduced to Asia, the Pacific islands, and Australia...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers and leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.
TitleFlowers and leaves
CaptionErechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers and leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers and leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.
Flowers and leavesErechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers and leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); habit at Puu Kukui, Maui. February 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionErechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); habit at Puu Kukui, Maui. February 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); habit at Puu Kukui, Maui. February 2009.
HabitErechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); habit at Puu Kukui, Maui. February 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.
TitleFlowers
CaptionErechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Erechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.
FlowersErechtites valerianifolius (tropical burnweed); flowers. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui. February 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Erechtites valerianifolius (Link ex Spreng.) DC.

Preferred Common Name

  • tropical burnweed

Other Scientific Names

  • Erechtites ambigua de Candolle
  • Erechtites gardneriana Cabrera
  • Erechtites organensis Gardner
  • Erechtites petiolata Benth.
  • Erechtites prenanthoides (A. Rich.) DC.
  • Erechtites prenanthoides (Kunth) Greenm. & Hieron.
  • Erechtites valerianifolia (Kunth) Cuatrec. ex Belcher
  • Erechtites valerianifolia depauperata Hochr.
  • Erechtites valerianifolius (Kunth) Cuatrec. ex Belcher
  • Erechtites valerianifolius fo. valerianifolius
  • Senecio albiflorus Phil.
  • Senecio crassus Veil.
  • Senecio lactucoides Klatt
  • Senecio paludicola Steud.
  • Senecio valerianifolius Wolf ex Link or Link ex Spreng
  • Sonchus erythropappus Meyen & Walp.

International Common Names

  • English: Brazilian fire weed; Ceylon thistle; fireweed
  • Chinese: bai jiang ye ju qin

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: capiçoba; capiçoba-vermelha; capiçova-vermelha; caramuru; cariçoba; caruru-amargoso; Gondo; Maria Gomes; Maria-Gondo; single-maria
  • El Salvador: falso epasote de altura
  • Fiji: co vuka; thovuka
  • Mexico: tzajal chi'ub
  • Samoa: fua lele; pua lele; voa lele
  • Solomon Islands: asaka mockta'a
  • Tonga: fisi puna

Summary of Invasiveness

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Erechtites valerianifolius is a herbaceous plant, a member of the family Asteraceae, which is native to Central and South America (and Mexico) and has been introduced to Asia, the Pacific islands, and Australia, where it is an invasive environmental and agricultural naturalized weed species (PIER, 2012; Randall, 2012).

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Erechtites was originally published by Rafinesque in 1817 based on an unnamed plant described by C. C. Robin.  In 1826 Sprengel reduced the genus to Senecio by reducing the species to S. hieracifolius L. The proper spelling has a long history of debate and contention. Rafinesque states that the name "Erechtites" was "one of those given by Dioscorides to the Senecio". If one were to follow Dioscorides in the 'Materia Medica', the spelling would be Erechthites derived from the Greek verb meaning ‘to rend, break’, possibly referring to the dissected leaves. A second possible derivation for the genus refers derives from Εριχθονιος, Erechthonius, one of the kings of Attica (or possibly Neptune) in ancient Greek legends (Belcher, 1956). Belcher (1956) considers that the arguments of Bentham (F. Austral. 3:657. 1966) and Hegi (Ill. Fl. Mittel Europa 62:701. 1929) for Erechthites are valid, but that it is better to retain Erechtites which is more commonly used for members of the genus in the correct sense.

A more important spelling problem arises from Latin grammatical gender confusion. According to the Flora of North America, Erechtites has been traditionally treated as feminine, but the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Art. 62.4) notes that generic names ending in “-ites” are to be treated as masculine (Flora of North America Editorial Committee, 2006). Therefore Erechtites valerianifolia is incorrect, although often used.

Erechtites valerianifolia (grammatically incorrect) was described and published by Curt Joachim Sprengel, based on a prior description by Johann Heinrich Friedrich Link. In 1838 Augustin Pyramus de Candolle circumscribed the species as valerianaefolia as a 'valid' binomial epithet now recognised as an orthographical variant (Candolle, 1837 [published 1838]; Veldkamp and Lut, 2009; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012).

Description

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E. valerianifolius is a herbaceous annual, 50 - 100 cm tall, although occasionally described as a shrub of more than 2.5 metres tall (in Australia it is described as a shrub, and only occasionally a herb, about 1.5-2 m tall -- CSIRO, 2010). Leaves are opposite and larger at the base, and smaller and alternate towards the top. The leaves are deeply divided to slightly lobed. Both sides of the leaves are covered in white hairs.

The flowers are clustered together and capitulate; that is, they form a dense, flat cluster of small flowers or florets. Flowers in the middle of the capitula are hermaphrodite; those towards the margins are female. The florets are numerous, yellowish-purple/mauve to white; the pappus, the ring of hairs around the calyx, are a pinkish-red to mauve and are the same size (as long) as the florets. E. valerianifolius blooms throughout the year.  (Belcher, 1956; eFloras, 2013; CSIRO, 2010; Wagner et al., 2012).

Belcher (1956) provides the following description:

"Annual; stem herbaceous, subsimple to much branched above, glabrous or occasionally sparsely hispidulous, striate, 0.5 to 1.0 (to 2.0 or more) m. high. Lowest leaves petiolate, ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, entire or serrate to irregularly dentate; medial leaves petiolate with narrowly decurrent wings, very deeply pinnately lobed, the lobes lanceolate and serrate to irregularly incised-dentate, or pinnatisect with linear segments entire or minutely serrulate, or entire or subentire like the lower leaves; upper leaves similar to the medial leaves but slightly reduced in size upward, or sometimes abruptly reduced several nodes below the inflorescence. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, forming a rather congested cymose panicle. Capitula slender, at anthesis about 10 mm. long, 3 mm. wide, scarcely ventricose, with linear calycular bracteoles extending to one-fourth or one-third the height of the involucre; involucre of 12 to 14 (to 16) phyllaries; phyllaries 7 to 8 mm. long, 0.5 to 0.75 mm. wide, linear and acute to acuminate, with keel flat and 4- or 5-nerved, glabrous or rarely minutely hairy; marginal florets uniseriate or subbiseriate, corolla 5-fid, with lobes 0.5 mm. long and 0.2 mm. wide, apices glandulose-thickened and incurved; style-arm apices shortly conic-appendaged. Disc florets more numerous than the marginal, the outer ones transitional in size and shape, with corolla 7 to 8 mm. long, only slightly longer and more dilated than the pistillate florets, the inner ones with corolla slightly longer and larger, slender, infundibuliform, 5-fid, with lobes 0.5 mm. long and 0.2 to 0.35 mm. wide, their apices glandulose-thickened; style-arm apices with conical appendage approximately 0.05 to 0.1 mm. long. Achene cylindric, 2.5 to 3.5 mm. long, with about 10 heavy, pale brown ribs, dark brown and entirely glabrous to minutely villous or hispidulous in the grooves. Pappus multiseriate, slender, rose-lilac to very pale reddish, rarely nearly or quite faded to white, subequalling the florets, exceeding the phyllaries."

Distribution

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Widespread in and native to the tropical Americas, E. valerianifolius is an introduced species (and an aggressive weed) in tropical Asia, many of the Pacific islands, and parts of Australia (Belcher, 1956).  There are no reports of establishment on the African continent.

There is one mention of E. valerianifolius as introduced rather than native in Bahia, Brazil (Hind, 1999). Some sources show E. valerianifolius in Uruguay but closer inspection of the primary source, GBIF, shows these occurrences to be in fact in Argentina (GBIF, 2012).

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

CambodiaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1997)
ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-GuangdongWidespreadIntroduced Invasive eFloras, 2013
-HainanWidespreadIntroduced Invasive eFloras, 2013
Georgia (Republic of)PresentIntroducedGBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (n.d.)
IndiaPresentIntroducedSharma, 1995In the south of India
-KeralaPresentIntroducedPeriyar Foundation, 2012
IndonesiaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1929, 1994)
-JavaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
-MoluccasPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956"Amboina" Island
-SulawesiPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
-SumatraWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956; Nazif, 1993A South Sumatra dominant weed of Paraserianthes falcataria [Falcataria moluccana] plantations
JapanPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Bonin IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1980)
-HonshuPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956Hachijo-jima Island
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1981)
MalaysiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
-SabahPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
-SarawakPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
NepalPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2013
PhilippinesWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
SingaporePresentIntroduced Invasive Corlett, 1992; PIER, 2012
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2012Flora of Ceylon. Recorded in 1974 from Ratnapura District, between Rakwana and Aigburth
TaiwanWidespreadIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012; eFloras, 2013Flora
VietnamPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012Yen Minh district, municipality Du Gia, vicinity of Coc Pan village. Secondary wet closed evergreen broadleaved forest on limestone ridge foothills along river

North America

MexicoPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (1986, 2012)
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2012

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
Costa RicaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1913, 1927)
DominicaWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeGBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1980, 1988)
El SalvadorPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (1989)
GuadeloupePresentNativeGBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1973, 1986)
GuatemalaWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
HondurasPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (1975, 2008)
Lesser AntillesPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956"rare"
MartiniquePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
MontserratPresent, few occurrencesNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956"rare"
Netherlands AntillesPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (2007)
NicaraguaWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
PanamaPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2012Flora (1982)
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013

South America

ArgentinaPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956; GBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1907, 1955)
BoliviaPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956; GBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1998)
BrazilPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Herbarium specimen (2010)
-BahiaWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-CearaPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-Espirito SantoPresentNative Not invasive Schwirkowski, 2013
-GoiasPresentNative Not invasive Schwirkowski, 2013Distrito Federal
-Minas GeraisWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-ParanaPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-PernambucoPresentNative Not invasive Schwirkowski, 2013
-Rio de JaneiroWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-Rio Grande do SulWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-Santa CatarinaWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
-Sao PauloWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
ColombiaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2012; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (2011)
EcuadorPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (1999)
French GuianaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (2007)
GuyanaPresentNative Not invasive Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (2007)
ParaguayWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
PeruWidespreadNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956
SurinamePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2013
VenezuelaPresentNative Not invasive Belcher, 1956; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012Flora (1995, 2007)

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2012Ta‘u Island, Manu‘a Island; invasive on Tutuila Island
AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012
-New South WalesWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
-QueenslandWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2012; PIER, 2012Mangaia Island
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956; GBIF, 2012; PIER, 2012
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2012Marquesas Islands; Society Islands
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012; PIER, 2012
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012; PIER, 2012"uncommon adventive"
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
SamoaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Belcher, 1956Guadalcanal, east fork of Tenam River (1945)
TongaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2012; PIER, 2012"wide spread"
VanuatuPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2012Herbarium specimen (1971)

History of Introduction and Spread

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Little information is available about when and how E. valerianifolius was introduced to its non-native range. It is likely to have often gone unnoticed for a considerable time after its initial establishment. According to Tjitrosoedirdjo (1987), it was introduced to Indonesian tea plantations with coffee beans from Brazil, but no year or primary source is provided.

Habitat

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E. valerianifolius flourishes in disturbed conditions (and is therefore an early succession adventive species -- Schwirkowski, 2013) with a predilection for moist, wetland ecosystems. It is a sun-loving annual and thrives on the edges of cultivated fields along fence rows and human pathways such as road and rail beds (PIER, 2012). It is found in 'waterways, pastures, roadsides, gardens, waste areas and disturbed sites in the tropical, sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions of eastern Australia' and is a significant invasive species of relatively wet, disturbed areas such as waterways, nutrient-enriched wetlands, streams, crests, and forest clearings in Hawaii, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea (Queensland Government, 2012). It is widespread in montane habitats throughout northern South American and "apparently well adapted to disturbed habitats" (Ritter and Crow, 2005).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Wetlands Principal habitat Natural
Freshwater
Irrigation channels Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Irrigation channels Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number of E. valerianifolius is reported to be 2n = 20, 40 (eFloras, 2013; Wagner et al., 2012; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2012).

E. valerianifolius sometimes hybridizes with E. hieracifolia var. cacalioides (current valid name E. hieraciifolius) (Belcher, 1956).

Reproductive biology

Seeds of E. valerianifolius are winged and light giving it great aggressiveness as a pioneer plant in disturbed landscapes and fire-prone ecosystems (Schwirkowski, 2013).

Physiology and Phenology

E. valerianifolius is heliophytic and blooms almost all year round, flowering most intensely in the period from October to December in southern Brazil (Schwirkowski, 2013).

Associations

In Brazil, E. valerianifolius is found with Solanum erianthum and Phytolacca thyrsiflora as a pioneer plant in secondary succession (Schwirkowski, 2013). It is associated with the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum, specifically the race 1 strain Pss190 (biovar 4) (Wang and Lin, 2005). It is associated as a food source with Nyctemera adversata (Schaller) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) (Murakami et al., 1999).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
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])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Notes on Natural Enemies

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No information is available on natural enemies of E. valerianifolius.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Little information is available about dispersal of E. valerianifolius, except that propagules are dispersed by wind (Schwirkowski, 2013).

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Economic Impact

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E. valerianifolius reduces yields of agricultural crops such as tea and palm oil; SEAMEO BIOTROP (2013) lists it as invasive in agricultural fields, tea, coffee and rubber plantations.

Environmental Impact

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E. valerianifolius is a major competitive threat to rare, threatened and endangered species.

See the Threatened Species table for more detail on some species that are threatened in Australia and Hawaii.

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Acacia oritesLC (IUCN red list: Least concern) LC (IUCN red list: Least concern); National list(s) National list(s)New South WalesCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthByron Shire Council, 2009
Archidendron muellerianumNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthByron Shire Council, 2009
Cupaniopsis newmaniiNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthByron Shire Council, 2009
Cyanea mceldowneyiUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Cyanea recta (Kealia cyanea)National list(s) National list(s); USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Cyanea remyiNational list(s) National list(s)HawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Cyanea undulataUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Cyrtandra limahuliensis (Limahuli cyrtandra)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as threatened species USA ESA listing as threatened speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Dubautia pauciflorula (Wahiawa Bog dubautia)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Helmholtzia glaberrimaNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthByron Shire Council, 2009
Phyllostegia wawrana (fuzzystem phyllostegia)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002
Syzygium hodgkinsoniaeNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthByron Shire Council, 2009
Trichosanthes subvelutinaNational list(s) National list(s)New South WalesCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthByron Shire Council, 2009
Viola helenae (Wahiawa stream violet)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Rapid growthUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2002

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Fast growing
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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E. valerianifolius has economic and nutritive potential due to its high content of vitamin A (Zayat and Ranal, 1997). The inflorescences and young leaves are used as food and vegetables, and have a high content of protein, phosphorus (P), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). The plant is used in the preparation of stews, sauces, omelettes, soups, meats, beans, tarts, pies and pancakes, and there are reports that these are very tasty, having a strong taste as if they were already seasoned (Schwirkowski, 2013). Vuilleumier (1969) stated that the leaves of E. hieracifolia and E. valerianifolia [E. valerianifolius] were cooked with palm oil in Brazil, and (citing Ochse and Bakhuisen van den Brink, 1931) that in the East Indies the upper leaves, called 'lalab', were eaten raw or steamed with rice and rumoured to be beneficial for nursing mothers.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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E. valerianifolius is similar to Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) S. Moore (Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1987). The leaves of E. valerianifolius are deeply and regularly pinnatifid for most of their length; those of C. crepidioides are lobed at the base but the upper half of the leaf is undivided. In E. valerianifolius the involucral bracts are green only (versus green and brown), the flowers are yellow to reddish violet (versus yellow to reddish brown), the achenes are 3 mm long (versus 2 mm) and the pappus is reddish violet in the upper half (versus white throughout). E. valerianifolius can grow up to 2 m high, whereas C. crepidioides rarely exceeds 1 m (Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1987).

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.

Well known herbicides including glyphosate and paraquat are mentioned as control chemistries as part of a general management scheme (Lam et al., 1993). An Australian pesticide permit (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, 2011) allows the use of glyphosate using helicopter mounted spot-spraying equipment to control E. valerianifolius in non-agricultural, natural ecosystems.

Biological control of E. valerianifolius has been investigated in Australia; potential impact and taxonomic confusion surrounding native Australian Senecio species resulted in no further study being conducted (Julien et al., 2012).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There is little actual information on Integrated Pest Management strategies for the control and management of E. valerianifolius, or on biological control. There is no information about the impact on an ecosystem of the removal of E. valerianifolius.

References

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Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, 2011. Permit to allow minor use of an Agvet chemical product for control of various environmental weeds using helicopter spot-spraying equipment. Permit Number - PER12363. Symonston, ACT, Australia: Australian Pesticides and Vetterinary Medicines Authority, 11 pp. http://www.farmoz.com.au/Permit/FARMOZ/PER12363.PDF

Belcher RO, 1955. The Typification of Crassocephalum Moench and Gynura Cass. Kew Bulletin, 3:455-465.

Belcher RO, 1956. A Revision of the Genus Erechtites (Compositae), with Inquiries into Senecio and Arrhenechthites. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 43(1):1-85.

Byron Shire Council, 2009. Pioneer Bridge, Wilsons Creek Rd, Byron Shire Parcel # 124750 Lot 3 DP 730861. Restoration action plan. Byron Shire, New South Wales, Australia: Byron Shire Council, 16 pp. http://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/files/publications/Bush_Regeneration_Action_Plan_for_Pioneer_Bridge.pdf

Candolle AP de, 1837. Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis, Sive Enumeratio Contracta Ordinum, Generum, Specierumque Plantarum Huc Usque Cognitarum, Juxta Methodi Naturalis Normas Digesta. Pars Sexta: Sistens Compositarum continuationem. [English title not available]. Paris, France: Treuttel and Würtz, 687 pp. http://ia700604.us.archive.org/9/items/mobot31753003013197/mobot31753003013197.pdf [published early January 1838]

Corlett RT, 1992. The naturalized flora of Hong Kong: a comparison with Singapore. Journal of Biogeography, 19(4):421-430.

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14/03/13: Original text by:

John Peter Thompson, consultant, Upper Marlborough, Maryland, USA.

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