Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Tradescantia spathacea
(boat lily)

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Datasheet

Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 February 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tradescantia spathacea
  • Preferred Common Name
  • boat lily
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • T. spathacea is a succulent herb commercially grown for bedding, rock gardens, and tropical effects, but classified in the Global Compendium of Weeds as an invasive species and an environmental weed (...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Old macadamia nut orchards Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionTradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Old macadamia nut orchards Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Old macadamia nut orchards Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
HabitTradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Old macadamia nut orchards Waiehu, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Kula Ace Hardware and Nursery, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September 2007
TitleHabit
CaptionTradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Kula Ace Hardware and Nursery, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September 2007
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Kula Ace Hardware and Nursery, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September 2007
HabitTradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); habit. Kula Ace Hardware and Nursery, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September 2007©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); flowers. Commodore Ave Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.
TitleFlowers
CaptionTradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); flowers. Commodore Ave Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); flowers. Commodore Ave Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.
FlowersTradescantia spathacea (boat lily, oyster plant, rhoeo); flowers. Commodore Ave Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June, 2008.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tradescantia spathacea Sw., 1788

Preferred Common Name

  • boat lily

Other Scientific Names

  • Ephemerum bicolor Moench
  • Rhoeo discolor (L'Hér.) Hance
  • Rhoeo spathacea (Sw.) Stearn
  • Rhoeo spathacea f. concolor (Baker) Stehlé
  • Rhoeo spathacea f. variegata (Hook.) Stehlé
  • Tradescantia discolor L'Hér.
  • Tradescantia discolor var. concolor Baker
  • Tradescantia discolor var. variegata Hook.
  • Tradescantia versicolor Salisb.

International Common Names

  • English: Moses-in-a-boat; Moses-in-the cradle; oyster plant
  • Spanish: Barca de San Pedro; maguey morado
  • French: moïse dans les jonc; plante huitre; rhoé
  • Chinese: zi bei wan nian qing

Local Common Names

  • Australia: rhoeo; three men in a boat
  • Cook Islands: iri; riri mangio; riri vareau
  • Cuba: cordobán
  • Ecuador/Galapagos Islands: Barquito de San Pedro
  • Guatemala: cordoban; moises; pluma de venus
  • Jamaica: Moses-in-the-bulrushes
  • Lesser Antilles: Canoa di San Pedro; gros curage; grosse herbe grasee; Indján den boto; ladies in a boat
  • Mexico: Chaksam morado
  • Niue: laupapaki; talotalo
  • Palau: nobesos
  • Puerto Rico: sanguinaria
  • Tonga: faina; faina fa‘itoka; faina kula
  • USA/Hawaii: Moses in the basket

Summary of Invasiveness

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T. spathacea is a succulent herb commercially grown for bedding, rock gardens, and tropical effects, but classified in the Global Compendium of Weeds as an invasive species and an environmental weed (Randall, 2012). This species has escaped into natural areas from gardens and yards where it has been planted as an ornamental (ISSG, 2012; PIER, 2012). T. spathacea spreads by seeds, which are dispersed by wind and it also grows from cuttings and plant fragments (Langeland and Burks, 2008). Once established, it is able to grow forming dense groundcover on the forest floor preventing the germination and establishment of native plants (ISSG, 2012). T. spathacea is listed as an invasive species Category II in Florida (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011), and it is also considered invasive in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (González-Torres et al., 2012; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012) and the Pacific Islands.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Commelinales
  •                         Family: Commelinaceae
  •                             Genus: Tradescantia
  •                                 Species: Tradescantia spathacea

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Commelinaceae includes 40 genera and 652 species widely distributed in tropical and temperate regions (Stevens, 2012). Member of this family are herbs with relatively soft and fleshy leaves. Commelinaceae is a family of plants diverse in both the Old World tropics and the New World tropics, with some genera distributed in both (Faden, 1983; Evans et al., 2003). The species within this family exhibit remarkable morphological variation, particularly in floral and inflorescence traits (Evans et al., 2000; Faden, 2000). Studies suggest that this family has radiated extensively in response to non-nectar seeking pollinators with changes in floral symmetry, stamen number, structure, and position, and inflorescence size and arrangement (Faden, 2000; Evans et al., 2003).

The genus Tradescantia is native to the New World tropics and includes about 70 species distributed from Canada to northern Argentina (USDA-ARS, 2012). Many species within this genus are valuable plants used as ornamentals and houseplants. Most of the cultivars commercialized in nurseries and commonly grown in garden are of complex hybrid origin, derived from crosses between natural species (Anderson and Hubricht, 1938).

Description

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Erect perennial sub-succulent herb with short stout erect stems up to 20 cm tall, often clustered and forming large colonies. Leaves imbricate, crowded, linear-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 20 - 35 cm long, mostly 3 - 5 cm broad, acuminate at the apex, scarcely narrowed at base above the sheath, usually dark green above, reddish-purple beneath. Inflorescences axillary; peduncles 2 - 4.5 cm long, simple or branched; bracts deeply boat-shaped, broadly ovate, 2 - 4.5 cm long, 2.5 - 5 cm broad. Flowers numerous, small, white, clustered within a folded, boat shaped bract (spathe) 3 - 4 cm long, short-stalked from leaf axils; petals 3, white, broadly ovate, stamens 6 with hairy filaments. Fruit capsular, with a seed per locule; seeds oblong-ellipsoid with linear hilum (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005; Richard and Ramey, 2007).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Succulent
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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T. spathacea is native to southern Mexico and Central America (Guatemala and Belize; Govaerts, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2012). It has been introduced as an ornamental and houseplant in many tropical regions including China, Japan, Africa, southeast Asia (Govaerts, 2012), USA (Florida, Louisiana, and Hawaii; USDA-ARS, 2012), the West Indies (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012), Australia (Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011), and the Pacific islands (PIER, 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

ChinaPresentIntroduced Invasive Govaerts, 2012; eFloras, 2013
-Hong KongPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2012Cultivated
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
Cocos IslandsPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
JapanPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012Ogasawara-shoto
PhilippinesPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
SingaporePresentIntroducedChong et al., 2009

Africa

EthiopiaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
GambiaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
KenyaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
MalawiPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
RéunionPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2012
SeychellesPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
UgandaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017
ZambiaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017

North America

MexicoPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012Southeast Mexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco and Yucatan)
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive Wunderlin and Hansen, 2008; Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011Category II invasive species
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
BahamasPresentIntroducedCorrell and Correll, 1982Reported by N.L. Britton & C.F. Millspaugh in 1920
BarbadosPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
BelizePresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
British Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedGuana and Virgin Gorda
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedINBio, Instituto Nacional de BiodiversidadCultivated as ornamental
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive González-Torres et al., 2012Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)
GrenadaPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)
GuatemalaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)
HondurasPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012Cultivated as ornamental
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAdams, 1972; Govaerts, 2012
MartiniquePresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)
Netherlands AntillesPresentIntroducedMori et al., 2007Saba
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012Cultivated
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005Reported by D. Bello in Yabucoa, Mayagüez and Rincón in 1883
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedGraveson, 2012Escaped ornamental. Present in dry rocky hills in the north and a danger to the Pitons
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentIntroducedBroome et al., 2007Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005St. Croix, St John, and St Thomas. Reported by I. Urban in Symbolae Antillanae (1903-1911)

South America

EcuadorPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroducedCharles Darwin Foundation, 2008; Govaerts, 2012St. Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands
PeruPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive Setchell, 1924Escaped from gardens
AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Lord Howe Is.PresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 2011
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2002aCultivated
FijiPresentIntroduced Invasive Smith, 1979; Govaerts, 2012Cultivated
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2011; Lorence and Wagner, 2013Cultivated
GuamPresentIntroducedFosberg et al., 1987
KiribatiPresentIntroducedGovaerts, 2012Gilbert and Line Islands
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedFosberg et al., 1987
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2000; Herrera et al., 2010Cultivated
NauruPresentIntroducedFosberg et al., 1987
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive MacKee, 1994
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2000; Space et al., 2004
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedFosberg et al., 1987
PalauPresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2003
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedPeekel, 1984
SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2002b
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2001
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroducedMeyer, 2007Cultivated

History of Introduction and Spread

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T. spathacea was introduced into the West Indies as an ornamental and houseplant probably during the nineteenth century. By 1883, D. Bello reported this species for the island of Puerto Rico (Bello, 1883). Later, Ignaz Urban in his Symbolae Antillanae (IV: 147, 1903-1911) reported this species growing in gardens and forests for Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hispaniola, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Vincent (Urban, 1905). In 1920, T. spathacea is reported for the Bahamas by N.L. Britton and C.F. Millspaugh (Britton and Milsspaugh, 1920).

T. spathacea was also introduced in Florida as an ornamental and by 1933 it was reported as naturalized in cultivated grounds and pinelands in peninsular Florida by J.K. Small (Small, 1933). Currently, this species is included in the Florida List of Invasive species as an invasive plant Category II, which are invasive plants that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered natural plant communities (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011).

T. spathacea was also introduced in the nineteenth century on islands in the Pacific, including Hawaii, Guam, Fiji, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Mariana Islands, and Micronesia (see distribution table for details; PIER, 2012). By 1924, it was reported as “naturalized” on American Samoa (Setchell, 1924) and later it was reported as “common and naturalized” on Tonga (Yuncker, 1959), Niue (Sykes, 1970), and Fiji (Smith, 1979). Currently, T. spathacea is considered an invasive species that is threatening ecosystems on the Pacific islands and regular monitoring is recommended wherever it is present (PIER, 2012).  

Risk of Introduction

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T. spathacea is widely commercialized in the nursery and landscape trade as an ornamental and houseplant (ISSG, 2012). In addition, T. spathacea can be dispersed by seeds, by cuttings and by plant fragments that rapidly colonize areas where it grows (Richard and Ramey, 2007). Seeds are dispersed by wind, facilitating long-distance invasions (Langeland and Burks, 2008). Consequently, the probability of this species invading and colonizing new habitats remains high.

Habitat

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T. spathacea is commonly used as an ornamental plant and has been planted in gardens and yards from where it has escaped. Currently, it can be found growing in the understory of coastal forests, shrublands, pinelands, hammocks, secondary forests, cultivated grounds, and disturbed areas from sea level to low elevations. In these habitats, T. spathacea grows forming a dense ground cover (Richard and Ramey, 2007; Langeland and Burks, 2008, ISSG, 2012). On islands in the Pacific, the species often grows on stone or coral walls and on rocky cliffs (Smith, 1979; PIER, 2012).

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
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
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

T. spathacea is a diploid species with 2n = 12 chromosomes. As in other diploid species, its karyotype is considered to consist of two genomes, which in the case of this species have been designated as α and β complexes (Golczyk and Joachimiak, 1999).

Reproductive Biology

Flowers in T. spathacea are hermaphroditic, small and white. Flowers are visited and pollinated by insects. The reproductive strategy in this species includes both cross-pollination, and self-pollination in the absence of pollinators (Zomlefer, 1983). 

Physiology and Phenology

T. spathacea produces flowers and fruits throughout the year in locations within and outside its native distribution range (Langeland and Burks, 2008; ISSG, 2012, PIER, 2012). 

Environmental Requirements

T. spathacea prefers to grow in tropical and subtropical areas with warm temperatures ranging from 14°C to 27°C (Langeland and Burks, 2008). It is a heat tolerant species, but it is easily damaged by frost and winter conditions. T. spathacea is able to grow in full sun to moderate shade in the floor of the understory. It is adapted to grow on a wide range of well-drained soil types including rocky soils, sand, and limestone bedrock (Smith, 1979; ISSG, 2012). It does not tolerate water logged soils. T. spathacea can be found growing as an epiphytic or semi-epiphytic plant on palm or tree trunks, rocky cliffs or other niches with essentially no soil (Smith, 1979). 

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]))
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 35
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 5

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall5003500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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T. spathacea can be dispersed by seeds, cuttings, offshoots or root fragments. Seeds are dispersed by wind, and roots resprout easily when pulled up or broken (Morton, 1982; Richard and Ramey, 2007). Damaged plants and plant fragments can also resprout from the roots (Langeland and Burks, 2008).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escapeSeeds, cuttings, and discarded plants Yes Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011; PIER, 2012
Garden waste disposalSeeds, cuttings, and discarded plants Yes Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011; PIER, 2012
Internet salesSeeds and plants sold online Yes Yes
Medicinal useUsed in traditional medicine in Mexico and South East Asia Yes Yes Rosales-Reyes et al., 2008
Nursery tradePlants used as ornamentals Yes Yes ISSG, 2012
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011; PIER, 2012
Seed trade Yes Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesLeaves, cuttings and discarded plants from gardens and yards Yes ISSG, 2012
MailSold online Yes Yes
WindSeeds carried by wind Yes Yes Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011

Impact Summary

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

Environmental Impact

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T. spathacea is a successful invader that can escape from gardens and is able to colonize disturbed areas as well as natural forests. This species grows in the understory of the forest and once established, it is able to rapidly replace the native vegetation of this forest stratum. T. spathacea grows forming a dense ground cover and thickets preventing the germination and establishment of seedlings of native plants (Richard and Ramey, 2007; Langeland and Burks, 2008; ISSG, 2012). Floridata reports that ecological problems in Florida particularly occur in hardwood hammock forests.

Social Impact

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In humans, T. spathacea can cause stinging, itching, and rash from contact with the surface of leaves and sap or from contact with the astringent juice produced when leaves are bruised (Morton, 1982). The species can be poisonous in large quantities if swallowed. There are also reports of effects on pets, particularly dogs that have developed severe allergies. Ingestion of the plant may cause irritation of the lips, mouth, throat and abdominal pain in animals and humans (Morton, 1982).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Competition
  • Induces hypersensitivity
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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T. spathacea is an economically important plant in the nursery and landscape trade. Several cultivars are extensively commercialized as ornamentals and houseplants in tropical and temperate regions (ISSG, 2012). It is used in traditional medicine in Mexico and southeast Asia. Flowers and leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat cancer, superficial mycoses, coughs, colds, and dysentery (Rosales-Reyes et al., 2008; Philippine Medicinal Plants, 2012).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Agroforestry

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Potted plant
  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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T. spathacea can be easily distinguished from other Tradescantia species by its elongated leaves (green above, purple below) forming a sub-rosette and by having white petals.

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.

Prevention

Plant cuttings should not be dumped anywhere as this is a frequent source of new weed infestations. The origin of new topsoil or fill should be checked as physical transportation of plant segments in soil is a major method of spread (ISSG, 2012).

Mechanical Control

Plants and smaller patches of T. spathacea may be hand pulled up and removed from treated areas, but all roots and plant fragments must be removed in order to avoid resprouts. 

Chemical Control

In Florida, experts have recommended foliar treatment with 3-10% triclopyr in water or oil applied to buds, or 2% glyphosate (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011).

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2005. Monocots and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 52:1-416. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/PRFlora/monocots/

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

Adams CD, 1972. Flowering Plants of Jamaica. University of the West Indies, 267

Anderson E, Hubricht L, 1938. Hybridization in Tradescantia. III. The Evidence for Introgressive Hybridization. American Journal of Botany, 25(6):396-402

Bello D, 1883. [English title not available]. (Apuntes para la flora de Puerto Rico. Segunda parte. Monoclamídeas.) Anales de la Sociedad Española de Historia Natural, 12:103-130

Britton NL, Millspaugh CF, 1920. The Bahama Flora. New York, USA: NL Britton & CF Millspaugh

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

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation, unpaginated

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

Correll DS, Correll HB, 1982. Flora of the Bahama Archipelago. Vaduz, Germany: J. Cramer, 1692 pp

eFloras, 2013. 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

Evans TM, Faden RB, Simpson MG, Sytsma KJ, 2000. Phylogenetic relationships in the Commelinaceae: I. A cladistic analysis of morphological data. Systematic Botany, 25:668-691

Evans TM, Sytsma KJ, Faden RB, Givnish TJ, 2003. Phylogenetic relationships in the Commelinaceae: II. A cladistic analysis of rbcL sequences and morphology. Systematic Botany, 28:270-292

Faden RB, 1983. Phytogeography of African Commelinaceae. Bothalia, 14:553-557

Faden RB, 2000. Floral biology of Commelinaceae. In: Monocots: systematics and evolution [ed. by Wilson, K. L. \Morrison, D. A.]. Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO, 309-318

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2012. Flora of China Web. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Herbaria. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/

Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer JY, 2011. [English title not available]. (Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP).) . http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011. Florida EPPC's 2011 Invasive Plant Species List. http://www.fleppc.org/list/11list.html

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Golczyk H, Joachimiak A, 1999. Karyotype structure and interphase chromatin organization in Rhoeo spathacea (Sw.) Stearn (Commelinaceae). Acta Biologica Cracoviensia: Series Botanica, 41:143-150

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plantshttp://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/
Flora of the West Indieshttp://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Riskhttp://www.hear.org/pier/species/urena_lobata.htm

Contributors

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19/07/13 Original text by:

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

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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