Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Garcia nutans
(false tung oil tree)

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Datasheet

Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 April 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Garcia nutans
  • Preferred Common Name
  • false tung oil tree
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Garcia nutans is a shrub or small tree native to the Americas from Mexico to Colombia that has been introduced as ornamental in the Caribbean, where it has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized. G...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower and foliage. Nicaragua.
TitleFlower and foliage
CaptionGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower and foliage. Nicaragua.
Copyright©Richard Joyce/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC 4.0
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower and foliage. Nicaragua.
Flower and foliageGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower and foliage. Nicaragua.©Richard Joyce/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC 4.0
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower. Nicaragua.
TitleFlower
CaptionGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower. Nicaragua.
Copyright©Richard Joyce/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC 4.0
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower. Nicaragua.
FlowerGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); flower. Nicaragua.©Richard Joyce/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC 4.0
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.
TitleFoliage
CaptionGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.
Copyright©Peter Vos/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.
FoliageGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.©Peter Vos/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.
TitleFoliage
CaptionGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.
Copyright©Peter Vos/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC
Garcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.
FoliageGarcia nutans (false tung oil tree); foliage. Nicaragua.©Peter Vos/via iNaturalist.org - CC BY-NC

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Garcia nutans Vahl ex Rohr

Preferred Common Name

  • false tung oil tree

Other Scientific Names

  • Garcia mayana Britton

International Common Names

  • Spanish: almendro; avellano

Local Common Names

  • Colombia: avellano de nare
  • Cuba: garcinia
  • Dominican Republic: avellana
  • El Salvador: huevo de gato
  • Lesser Antilles: ricin caraïbe
  • Mexico: aguacatillo; huevo de gato; pepita del Indio; piñoncillo; Tiacualote

Summary of Invasiveness

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Garcia nutans is a shrub or small tree native to the Americas from Mexico to Colombia that has been introduced as ornamental in the Caribbean, where it has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized. G. nutans has been listed as invasive only in Cuba. On most of the Caribbean islands where it now occurs, it is listed as casual or rare. On the other hand, within its native distribution range in Colombia, G. nutans is included in the IUCN Red List as an endangered species as high rates of habitat loss have led to the decline of natural populations of this species.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Euphorbiales
  •                         Family: Euphorbiaceae
  •                             Genus: Garcia
  •                                 Species: Garcia nutans

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Euphorbiaceae comprises 218 genus and about 6745 species with Pantropical distribution (Stevens, 2016). Garcia is a Neotropical small genus of two species: G. nutans and G. parviflora. Traits such as the geniculate petioles, relatively large flowers, many stamens, and large fruits help to distinguish this genus (Burger and Huft, 1995).

Description

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The following description is adapted from Flora of Panama (2016):

Shrub or tree up to 15 m high. Leaves chartaceous to subcoriaceous; petioles 1-5 cm long; stipules absent; blades oblong to elliptic, abruptly acuminate to obtuse at the tip, obtuse to rounded at the base, mostly 8-19 cm long, 2.5-7 cm broad, sparsely to densely pilose beneath, the margins entire. Staminate flowers with densely pilose pedicels 1-3.5 cm long; calyx 6-13.5 cm long; petals 6-13, linear to oblong-elliptic, pinkish to dark red, more or less hirsute, 10-17 mm long; disc-segments numerous, up to 1.5 mm high, scattered over the pilose receptacle; stamens 60-150, the filaments mostly glabrous, 2.5-6 mm long, the anthers apiculate, 0.7-1 mm long. Pistillate flowers with tomentulose pedicels 1-3 cm long; disc lobed, 2 mm high; ovary densely sericeous, the styles thick, 1.5-2 mm long, the stigmas fleshy, reddish to nearly black. Capsules 3-lobed, 3-seeded, 2-2.5 cm high, 3-4 cm in diameter; seeds globose up to 17 mm in diameter.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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The native distribution range of G. nutans extends from Mexico to Colombia (Govaerts, 2016; USDA-ARS, 2016). It has been introduced in Cuba, Hispaniola and the Lesser Antilles (Broome et al., 2007; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Oviedo et al., 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.

Last updated: 21 Apr 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

North America

BarbadosPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Costa RicaPresentNativeGovaerts (2016)
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasiveOviedo Prieto et al. (2012)
DominicaPresentIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
El SalvadorPresentNativeGovaerts (2016)
GuadeloupePresentIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
GuatemalaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2016)
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
MartiniquePresentIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
MexicoPresentNativeGovaerts (2016)
NicaraguaPresentNativeGovaerts (2016)
PanamaPresentNativeGovaerts (2016)
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)

South America

ColombiaPresentNativeGovaerts (2016);
VenezuelaPresentNativeGovaerts (2016);

History of Introduction and Spread

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In the Caribbean this species first appears in herbarium collections made in 1925 in Haiti and 1926 in Martinique.

Habitat

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In Central America, G. nutans grows at elevations of 10-500 m. In Costa Rica it grows as an understory plant in seasonally dry or partly deciduous forests (Burger and Huft, 1995). In Colombia, it grows in moist forests (IUCN, 2020).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed 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
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 Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Physiology and Phenology

In Costa Rica, G. nutans has been recorded flowering all year long and fruiting from October to May (Burger and Huft, 1995). In Nicaragua, it has been recorded flowering from March to June and fruiting from September to April (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016).

Population size and structure

In Colombia, this species is listed as an endangered species in the IUCN red list (IUCN, 2020).

Environmental requirements

Garcia nutans grows in a wide range of habitats including moist forests, humid forests, and dry deciduous forests with mean annual temperatures ranging from 20°C to 28°C and mean annual precipitation ranging from 950 mm to 2250 mm (Burger and Huft, 1995; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 20 28

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall9502250mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil reaction

  • neutral

Soil texture

  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Garcia nutans spreads by seeds (Flora of Panama, 2016). 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escapeEscaped from cultivation Yes Oviedo et al., 2012
Ornamental purposesPlanted as ornamental in the Caribbean Yes Yes Broome et al., 2007

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Environmental Impact

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Garcia nutans is listed as invasive only in Cuba where it is displacing and outcompeting native vegetation (Oviedo et al., 2012).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Long lived
Impact outcomes
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Social Benefit

Garcia nutans has been used medicinally in Colombia as a purgative, with a single seed said to be sufficient to induce vomiting (Burger and Huft, 1995). In the Caribbean it is planted as ornamental (Broome et al., 2007).

Uses List

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Fuels

  • Fuelwood

Materials

  • Oils

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Ornamental

  • garden plant

References

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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. Barbados: University of the West Indies.http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

Burger, W., Huft, M., 1995. Flora Costaricensis. Family No. 113 Euphorbiaceae. In: Fieldiana, Botany , (No. 36) . v + 169 pp.

Flora of Panama, 2016. Flora of Panama (WFO). In: Flora of Panama (WFO) St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, MA, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria.http://www.tropicos.org/Project/FOPWFO

Govaerts, R, 2016. World Checklist of Euphorbiaceae. Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

IUCN, 2020. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species : IUCN.https://www.iucnredlist.org/

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016. Tropicos database. In: Tropicos database St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/

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.

Stevens, P. F., 2016. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 13. In: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 13 . St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

USDA-ARS, 2016. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
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.

Contributors

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18/08/16 Original text by:

Dr. Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH 

Distribution Maps

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