Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Alternanthera halimifolia
(hairy joyweed)

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Datasheet

Alternanthera halimifolia (hairy joyweed)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Alternanthera halimifolia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • hairy joyweed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Alternanthera halimifolia is a pioneer species typically growing in disturbed and coastal areas. Its native range encompasses the majority of the Caribbean in addition to Central and South America. This species...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Alternanthera halimifolia (Lam.) Standl. ex Pittier

Preferred Common Name

  • hairy joyweed

Other Scientific Names

  • Achyranthes halimifolia Lam.
  • Adoketon maritimum Raf.
  • Adoketon saxatile Raf.
  • Alternanthera flavogrisea (Urb.) Urb
  • Celosia peruviana Van Spand. ex Moq.
  • Gomphrena crucis Vahl ex Moq
  • Gomphrena ficoidea Jacq.
  • Illecebrum alsinaefolium Scop.
  • Illecebrum frutescens L'Hér.
  • Illecebrum limense Dumort.
  • Telanthera crucis Moq.
  • Telanthera densiflora Moq.
  • Telanthera flavogrisea Urb.
  • Telanthera frutescens Moq.
  • Telanthera halimifolia (Lam.) Steward

International Common Names

  • Spanish: diamante; monte Colorado; monte rubi

Local Common Names

  • Ecuador/Galapagos Islands: chaff flower
  • Lesser Antilles: herbe à albumine
  • Peru: sanguinaria

Summary of Invasiveness

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Alternanthera halimifolia is a pioneer species typically growing in disturbed and coastal areas. Its native range encompasses the majority of the Caribbean in addition to Central and South America. This species has been listed as introduced and invasive in Cuba, although some authors regard it as native to this island. It has also been listed as introduced in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (St Croix and St Thomas). In Chile it has been previously listed as introduced but most recently included within a list of native flora. It behaves as a weed in ruderal sites, sea beaches, coastal sites, and thickets in areas both within and outside its native distribution range.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Caryophyllales
  •                         Family: Amaranthaceae
  •                             Genus: Alternanthera
  •                                 Species: Alternanthera halimifolia

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Amaranthaceae includes 174 genera and about 2500 species distributed worldwide especially in warm and dry temperate areas, the subtropics and saline habitats (Stevens, 2012). Alternanthera is a diverse genus (80–200 species) and the second largest in the subfamily Gomphrenoideae. The genus is largely restricted to the American tropics and its highest diversity occurs in South America, but many species also occur in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico (Sánchez-del Pino et al., 2012).

Description

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Procumbent or decumbent sericeous perennials, the sparingly branched stems to 20 cm long. Leaves densely pubescent with stellate hairs, rarely glabrate, elliptic to ovate, apically rounded and mucronate, basally rounded to cuneate, 1-5 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm broad; petioles 2-10 mm long. Inflorescences of stramineous ovoid heads, 4-12 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, sessile in the axils. Flowers perfect; bracts and bracteoles subequal, ovate, acuminate to aristate, 1-3 mm long; sepals 5, the outer 3 broader, 3-ribbed, basally indurate and hispidulous, 3-5 mm long; stamens 5, united below into a tube, the pseudo-staminodia lacerate and exceeding the filaments; ovary globose to obovoid; style 1, about twice as long as the capitate stigma. Fruit an indehiscent globose utricle 1-1.5 mm long; seeds reddish brown, cochleate-orbicular, 0.8-1.1 mm broad (Correa et al., 2004).

Plant Type

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Perennial
Seed propagated

Distribution

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A. halimifolia extends from Mexico and the Caribbean to South America, including the Galapagos Islands (USDA-ARS, 2015). It is listed as naturalized and invasive in Cuba by Oviedo Prieto et al. (2012) (although conversely as native by Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012) and introduced in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012). In Chile this species has previously been listed as introduced and naturalized (Serra et al., 2007) but has most recently been included within a list of native flora (Gatica-Castro et al., 2015). 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of A. halimifolia is moderate to low because it is not commercialized for ornamental or economic purposes. Its seeds are naturally spread by wind and water. The probability of this species to colonize new areas seems to be limited.

Habitat

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A. halimifolia inhabits forests, thickets, riparian zones, disturbed sites, coastal forests, estuarine habitats, wetlands and sea beaches, mostly at low elevations in both dry and wet habitats (Correa et al., 2004; USDA-ARS, 2015). In Chile, this species has been recorded growing in arid sites in Tarapacá and Atacama regions (Serra et al., 2007).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-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 grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Environmental Requirements

A. halimifolia grows in both dry and wet habitats where it behaves as an environmental weed of ruderal sites, sandy coastal areas, and thickets. It prefers to grow on soil types ranging from sandy soils to sandy clay loams at lower elevations (Correa et al., 2004Serra et al., 2007; USDA-ARS, 2015).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) 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)

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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A. halimifolia spreads by seeds that are naturally dispersed by wind and water (Serra et al., 2007; Sánchez-del Pino et al., 2012).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceWeeds in ruderal areas Yes Yes Correa et al., 2004
Seed tradeSeed contaminant

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Soil, sand and gravelSeeds Yes Yes
WaterSeeds Yes Yes
WindSeeds Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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

Environmental Impact

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A. halimifolia is an environmental weed that invades disturbed sites and coastal areas. In Cuba, some authors consider this species to be an invasive plant displacing native vegetation (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad 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
  • Fast growing
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

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.

Species within the genera ​Alternanthera can be controlled using herbicides such as amitrole, bensulfuron, oxadiazon, propanil, 2,4-D and MCPA (Soerjani et al., 1987; Parker, 1992). Multiple applications could be necessary for control. 

References

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

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

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation.http://www.darwinfoundation.org/datazone/checklists/

Correa MD, Galdames C, Stapf M, 2004. Catalogue of Vascular Plants of Panama. (Catalogo de Plantas Vasculares de Panamá). Panama: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.599.

Funk V, Hollowell T, Berry P, Kelloff C, Alexander SN, 2007. Checklist of the plants of the Guiana Shield (Venezuela: Amazonas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro; Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana). Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 55, 584.

García, M., Jáuregui, D., Medina, E., 2008. Anatomical adaptations in leaves of angiosperm species occurring in the coastal zone of Falcon State (Venezuela). (Adaptaciones anatómicas foliares en especies de angiospermas que crecen en la zona costera del Estado Falcón (Venezuela)). Acta Botanica Venezuelica, 31(1), 291-306.

Gatica-Castro, A., Marticorena, A., Rojas, G., Arancio, G., Squeo, F. A., 2015. Conservation status of the native flora of the Arica-Parinacota and Tarapacá regions, Chile. (Estado de conservación de la flora nativa de las regiones de Arica-Parinacota y de Tarapacá, Chile). Gayana Botánica, 72(2), 305-309. http://www.gayanabotanica.cl/pdfs/2015/2/13_Gatica-Castro_etal_2015.pdf

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff MG, et al., 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1), 22-96.

Parker, C., 1992. Weeds of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan: National Plant Protection Centre.vi + 236 pp.

Randall, R. P., 2017. A global compendium of weeds, Perth, Australia: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia.1124. http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2013/20133109119.pdf

Sánchez-del Pino, I., Motley, T. J., Borsch, T., 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of Alternanthera (Gomphrenoideae, Amaranthaceae): resolving a complex taxonomic history caused by different interpretations of morphological characters in a lineage with C4 and C3-C4 intermediate species. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 169(3), 493-517. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1095-8339 doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2012.01248.x

Santana OA, Carvalho Júnior OAD, Gomes RAT, et al., 2010. Distribution of native plant species in distinct macroenvironments in the western region of Bahia. (Distribuição de espécies vegetais nativas em distintos macroambientes na região do Oeste da Bahia). Espaco & Geografia, 3, 181-223.

Serra MT, Iturriaga L, Novoa P, 2007. Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (Amaranthaceae), a new alien species in the Chilean Flora. ( Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (Amaranthaceae), una nueva especie adventicia en Chile). Chloris Chilensis, Año 10(N°1), http://www.chloirschile.cl

Soerjani, M., Kostermans, A. J. G. H., Tjitrosoepomo, G., 1987. Weeds of rice in Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia: Balai Pustaka.xvi + 716pp.

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

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. (Version 1.1) London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.http://www.theplantlist.org

USDA-ARS, 2015. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. USA, Beltsville: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl

Distribution References

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

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

CABI, Undated. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos., Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation. http://www.darwinfoundation.org/datazone/checklists/

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

García M, Jáuregui D, Medina E, 2008. Anatomical adaptations in leaves of angiosperm species occurring in the coastal zone of Falcon State (Venezuela). (Adaptaciones anatómicas foliares en especies de angiospermas que crecen en la zona costera del Estado Falcón (Venezuela).). Acta Botanica Venezuelica. 31 (1), 291-306.

Gatica-Castro A, Marticorena A, Rojas G, Arancio G, Squeo F A, 2015. Conservation status of the native flora of the Arica-Parinacota and Tarapacá regions, Chile. (Estado de conservación de la flora nativa de las regiones de Arica-Parinacota y de Tarapacá, Chile.). Gayana Botánica. 72 (2), 305-309. http://www.gayanabotanica.cl/pdfs/2015/2/13_Gatica-Castro_etal_2015.pdf

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff M G, et al, 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba. 6 (Special Issue No. 1), 22-96.

Santana OA, Carvalho Júnior OAD, Gomes RAT, et al, 2010. Distribution of native plant species in distinct macroenvironments in the western region of Bahia. (Distribuição de espécies vegetais nativas em distintos macroambientes na região do Oeste da Bahia). In: Espaco & Geografia, 3 181-223.

Serra MT, Iturriaga L, Novoa P, 2007. Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (Amaranthaceae), a new alien species in the Chilean Flora. (Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (Amaranthaceae), una nueva especie adventicia en Chile). In: Chloris Chilensis, Año 10 (N°1) http://www.chloirschile.cl

USDA-ARS, 2015. 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

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
CHILEFlorahttp://www.chileflora.com/Florachilena/FloraEnglish/HighResPages/EH1194.htm
Flora of Panama (WFO)http://www.tropicos.org/Name/1100543?projectid=56
Galapagos Species Checklist of the Charles Darwin Foundationhttps://www.darwinfoundation.org/en/datazone/checklist?species=149
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.
Tropicoshttp://www.tropicos.org/Name/1100543
USDA-ARS-Germplasm Resources Information Networkhttp://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?447067

Contributors

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01/12/15 Original text by:

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

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

Distribution Maps

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