Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Cyathula prostrata
(pasture weed)

Ventosa-Febles E, 2017. Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed). Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CABI. DOI:10.1079/ISC.120116.20203482884

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Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 June 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cyathula prostrata
  • Preferred Common Name
  • pasture weed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Cyathula prostrata is an annual to short-lived perennial herb native to Africa and Asia and some parts of Oceania, now found naturalized elsewhere in Oceania and in South and Central America. It grows as a weed in cultivated land, roadsid...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); habit, at an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.
TitleHabit
CaptionCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); habit, at an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.
Copyright©Franz Xaver/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); habit, at an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.
HabitCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); habit, at an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.©Franz Xaver/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flower spike. At an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.
TitleFlower spike
CaptionCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flower spike. At an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.
Copyright©Franz Xaver/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flower spike. At an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.
Flower spikeCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flower spike. At an altitude of 630-680 m. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, S Minca, Colombia. December 2017.©Franz Xaver/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowers. Shimoga, Karnataka, India. December 2012.
TitleFlowers
CaptionCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowers. Shimoga, Karnataka, India. December 2012.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowers. Shimoga, Karnataka, India. December 2012.
FlowersCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowers. Shimoga, Karnataka, India. December 2012.©Dinesh Valke/via wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. India. November 2017.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. India. November 2017.
Copyright©Rison Thumboor/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. India. November 2017.
Flowering habitCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. India. November 2017.©Rison Thumboor/via wikipedia - CC BY 2.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. Kanakeshwar Forest, Maharashtra, India. November 2016.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. Kanakeshwar Forest, Maharashtra, India. November 2016.
Copyright©Dinesh Valke/via wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0
Cyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. Kanakeshwar Forest, Maharashtra, India. November 2016.
Flowering habitCyathula prostrata (pasture weed); flowering habit. Kanakeshwar Forest, Maharashtra, India. November 2016.©Dinesh Valke/via wikipedia CC BY-SA 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cyathula prostrata (L.) Blume

Preferred Common Name

  • pasture weed

Other Scientific Names

  • Achyranthes pedicellata C.B. Clarke
  • Achyranthes protrata L.
  • Cyathula geniculata Lour.
  • Cyathula germinata Moq.
  • Cyathula pedicellata C.B. Clarke
  • Desmochaeta prostrata (L.) DC.
  • Pupalia atropurpurea Moq.
  • Pupalia prostrata (L.) Mart.

International Common Names

  • English: purple princess
  • Spanish: cucua macho
  • French: cyathule couchée

Local Common Names

  • Cambodia: ando ko
  • China: bei xian
  • Colombia: cadillo
  • Indonesia: rai-rai fofoheka; ranggitan; rumput jarang-jarang
  • Malaysia: keremak; menjarang; nyarang
  • Papua New Guinea: kinjan
  • Philippines: bakbak; dayang; tuhod-monok
  • Puerto Rico: cyatul
  • Thailand: yaa phaanghu daeng; yaa phaanngu lek

Summary of Invasiveness

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Cyathula prostrata is an annual to short-lived perennial herb native to Africa and Asia and some parts of Oceania, now found naturalized elsewhere in Oceania and in South and Central America. It grows as a weed in cultivated land, roadsides, grazing land, along seashores and in primary and secondary forests and is classed as an invasive species in a number of Pacific Islands.

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Cyathula is a genus in the Amaranthaceae that consists of about 25 species with a tropical distribution (Chuakul et al., 2001; World Flora Online, 2020). World Flora Online (2020) include two accepted varieties of C. prostrata: C. prostrata var. lancifolia and C. prostrata var. pedicellata.

Description

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The following description is from Chuakul et al. (2001):

An annual to perennial herb, 30-50 cm tall, erect or ascending, rooting at the nodes, stem obtusely quadrangular, thickened above the nodes, often tinged with red, covered with patent, fine hairs. Leaves opposite, simple, rhomboid-obovate to rhomboid-oblong, 1.3-15 cm × 0.7-6.5 cm, base contracted or narrowed, rounded, apex triangular, acute to obtuse, entire, ciliate, margin or blade often tinged red; petiole short. Inflorescence an erect, elongated raceme, terminal and in highest leaf-axils, straight or sinuous, 18-33 cm long, rachis densely pubescent; peduncle 1-12 cm long; flowers in small clusters, in the lower part of the raceme distant, in the higher part crowded, pedicel short, erect before anthesis, reflexed in fruiting, bracts ovate, acuminate; lower clusters with 2-3 bisexual flowers and several sterile ones, with up to 20 red, hooked awns, towards the apex fewer sterile flowers, at apex only solitary bisexual flowers, ripe clusters falling off as a whole. Flowers small; tepals 5, free, in bisexual flowers ovate-oblong, 2.5-3 mm long, strongly mucronate, dull pale green, glabrous within, externally clothed with patent long, white hairs, tepals of sterile flowers 1.7-2.5 mm long, sessile; stamens 5, filaments connate at base, free parts 1 mm long, anthers two-celled, pseudo-staminodes rectangular-cuneate, apex truncate; ovary superior, obovoid, one-celled, funicle short, style filiform, stigma capitellate. Fruit an ellipsoid utricle, 1.5-2 mm long, thin-walled, glabrous, one-seeded, surrounded by stiff perianth. Seed ovoid or ellipsoidal, 1-1.5 mm long, shiny brown. Seedling with epigeal germination.

Plant Type

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Annual
Herbaceous
Perennial

Distribution

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Cyathula prostrata is native to Africa, Asia and Papua New Guinea, Palau, Timor-Leste and North-East Australia in Oceania. It now has a pantropical distribution after being introduced in other countries in Oceania and in Central and South America.

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: 17 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentNative
CameroonPresentNative
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentNative
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative
EthiopiaPresentNative
GabonPresentNative
GambiaPresentNative
GhanaPresentNative
GuineaPresentNative
LiberiaPresentNative
MadagascarPresentNative
MalawiPresentNativeMulanje Mt. foot of Gt. Ruo Gorge. Chombe Estate, Nkhata Bay
MaliPresentNative
MozambiquePresentNative
NigeriaPresentNative
SeychellesPresentFrégate Islands
Sierra LeonePresentNative
SudanPresentNative
TanzaniaPresentNative
TogoPresentNative
UgandaPresentNative
ZambiaPresentNativeMasese, Fanshawe
ZimbabwePresentNativeInyanga Distr., Pungwe Bridge, Haroni/Makurupini Forest

Asia

BhutanPresentNative
CambodiaPresentNative
ChinaPresentNative
-GuangdongPresentNative
-GuangxiPresentNative
-HainanPresentNative
-YunnanPresentNative
IndiaPresentNative
LaosPresentNative
MyanmarPresentNative
NepalPresentNative
PhilippinesPresentNativeIn waste places, thickets, etc. at low and medium altitudes, throughout the Philippines
Sri LankaPresentNative
TaiwanPresentNative
ThailandPresentNative
VietnamPresentNative

North America

Costa RicaPresentIntroduced
DominicaPresentIntroducedExotic
GrenadaPresentIntroducedExotic
GuadeloupePresentIntroduced
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedIzabel
HondurasPresentIntroduced
JamaicaPresentIntroduced
MartiniquePresentIntroducedExotic
MexicoPresentIntroducedChiapas
PanamaPresentIntroducedBocas del Toro, Canal Arena, Chiriquí, Coclé, Colón, Darién, Panamá, Veraguas 
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced
Saint LuciaPresentIntroducedExotic
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentIntroducedExotic
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedIn St. Croix and St. Thomas, exotic

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasiveIn Tutuila Islands
AustraliaPresentNative and Introduced
-Northern TerritoryPresentNative
-QueenslandPresentNative
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-KosraePresentIntroducedInvasive
-PohnpeiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-YapPresentIntroduced
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasiveIn Moala, Ngau, Vanua Levy and Viti Levy Islands
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveIn Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tuhuata, Ua Huka, Ua Pou, Bora Bora, Huahine, Mehitia, Moorea, Raiatea, Taha’a, Tahiti, Raivavae, Rimatara, Rurutu and Tubuai Islands
PalauPresentNative
Papua New GuineaPresentNative
Timor-LestePresentNative

South America

BoliviaPresentIntroducedNorte de Bolivia, Río Madre de Dios. Beni. Cochamba. Pando. Santa Cruz
BrazilPresentIntroduced
-AmazonasPresentIntroduced
-BahiaPresentIntroduced
-ParaPresentIntroduced
ColombiaPresentIntroducedAntioquia
EcuadorPresentIntroducedMorona-Santiago. Napo
French GuianaPresentIntroduced
GuyanaPresentIntroduced
SurinamePresentIntroduced
VenezuelaPresentIntroduced

Habitat

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Cyathula prostrata has a weedy habit and is found in forests, plantations, rough pastures, along roadsides and in wet areas such as by swamps and streams (Adams, 1972; PROTA, 2015; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020)

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number of C. prostrata is 2n=48 (Chuakul et al., 2001)

Reproductive biology

The flowers of C. prostrata are pollinated by bees and wind (Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Physiology and phenology

Flowers from January to March and from June to July (Adams, 1972).

Environmental requirements

Cyathula prostrata prefers loamy and sandy soils (Useful Tropical Plants, 2020) and light to dense shade from sea-level up to 1650 m altitude (Chuakul et al., 2001; PROTA, 2015).

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 Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Ferrisia virgata Parasite Other|All Stages not specific

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Medicinal useWidely used in traditional medicine Yes Yes Ibrahim et al. (2012)

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Human health Positive

Economic Impact

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Cyathula prostrata has been reported as a weed in cocoa and rubber plantations (PROTA, 2015)

Risk and Impact Factors

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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Fast growing
  • Reproduces asexually
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

Uses

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Social benefit

The following summary of medicinal and social uses is from PROTA (2015):

"In Peninsular Malaysia, C. prostrata is used internally and externally. The aerial parts in decoction are drunk against cough, and a decoction of the roots is used against dysentery. As a plaster, it is used for caterpillar itch, around the neck for cough and on the belly for intestinal worms or shingles. In Indonesia, the leaves mashed with water are a remedy for cholera, and an infusion of the whole plant is taken for fever and dysentery. In Papua New Guinea, the juice of the stem is used as an abortifacient. In Sierra Leone, the roots are used for this purpose. In the Philippines and Guinea, the ash of the burnt plant mixed with water is rubbed on the body for scabies and other skin ailments. In Thailand, the stem in decoction is taken as a diuretic and to increase menstrual discharge; the leaves are used for irritations of the throat; the flowers as an expectorant; and the roots against abnormal and frequent urination. In Vietnam, the roots in decoction are commonly drunk for colds and cough. In Indo-China, the same preparation is used for rheumatism and dropsy. In China, the stem and leaves are used as a mild laxative. In Taiwan, a decoction of the leaves is applied to snakebites. Throughout Africa, the plant is used to treat dysentery. In Cameroon, the plant is prescribed for articular rheumatism. In Cote d'Ivoire, the sap of the plant is used as ear drops for otitis and for headache, and the pulped plant is used on sores, burns and fractures, as a haemostatic and cicatrizant. In Gabon and Congo (Brazzaville), the leaves are eaten as a vegetable."

Uses List

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Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

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

Adams, C. D., 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica, Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies.848 pp.

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

Burkill, H. M., 1995. The useful plants of west tropical Africa, Vols. 1-3, (2. ed) . Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.976 ; 648 ; 868 pp.

Chuakul, W, Soonthornchareonnon, N, Ruangsomboon, O, 2001. Cyathula prostrata (L.) Blume [Internet] record. In: PROSEAbase, [ed. by van Valkenburg, JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N]. Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation.http://www.proseanet.org

Ibrahim, B., Sowemimo, A., Rooyen, A. van, Venter, M. van de, 2012. Antiinflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant activities of Cyathula prostrata (Linn.) Blume (Amaranthaceae). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 141(1), 282-289. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.02.032

Liogier, H. A., Martorell, L. F., 1982. Flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands: a systematic synopsis, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Lorence, D. H., Flynn, T., 2010. Checklist of the plants of Kosrae. In: Checklist of the plants of Kosrae . Lawai, Hawaii, USA: National Tropical Botanical Garden.26 pp.

PROTA, 2015. PROTA4U web database. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.http://www.prota4u.info

Setchell, W. A., 1924. American Samoa. Part 1. Vegetation of Tutuila Island. Part 2. Ethnobotany of the Samoans. Part 3. Vegetation of Rose Atoll, 318 pp.

Smith, A. C., 1981. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Volume 2. In: Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Volume 2 . Kauai, Hawaii, USA: Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden.818 pp.

Sowemimo, A. A., Venter, M. van de, Baatjies, L., Koekemoer, T., 2009. Cytotoxic activity of selected Nigerian plants. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 6(4), 526-528. http://journals.sfu.ca/africanem/index.php/ajtcam/article/view/542

USDA-ARS, 2015. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Useful Tropical Plants, 2020. Useful tropical plants database. In: Useful tropical plants database : K Fern.http://tropical.theferns.info/

World Flora Online, 2020. World Flora Online. In: World Flora Online : World Flora Online Consortium.http://www.worldfloraonline.org

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

Adams C D, 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies. 848 pp.

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

Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, 2010. Australian tropical rainforest plants., http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html

Florence J, 2004. (Flore de la Polynésie française, Vol. 2. Collection Faune et Flore Tropicales 41)., Paris, France: IRD Editions, Publications Scientifiques du Múseum. 503 pp.

Glassman SF, 1952. The flora of Ponape. In: Bishop Museum Bulletin, 209 1-152.

Liogier H A, Martorell L F, 1982. Flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands: a systematic synopsis. Río Piedras, Puerto Rico: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Lorence D H, Flynn T, 2010. Checklist of the plants of Kosrae. In: Checklist of the plants of Kosrae. Lawai, Hawaii, USA: National Tropical Botanical Garden. 26 pp.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015. Tropicos database., St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

PIER, 2008. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk, USA: Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

PROTA, 2015. PROTA4U web database., [ed. by Grubben GJH, Denton OA]. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. http://www.prota4u.info

Robertson SA, Todd DM, 1983. Vegetation of Fregate Island, Seychelles. Floristics and ecology of Western Indian Ocean islands. In: Atoll Research Bulletin No. 273, 253 pp.

Sánchez-Monge A, Retana-Salazar A, Brenes S, Agüero R, 2010. New records of aphid-plant associations (Hemiptera: Aphididae) from Eastern Costa Rica. Florida Entomologist. 93 (4), 489-492. http://www.fcla.edu/FlaEnt/ DOI:10.1653/024.093.0402

Setchell W A, 1924. American Samoa. Part 1. Vegetation of Tutuila Island. Part 2. Ethnobotany of the Samoans. Part 3. Vegetation of Rose Atoll. 318 pp.

Smith A C, 1981. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Volume 2. In: Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji (spermatophytes only). Volume 2. Kauai, Hawaii, USA: Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. 818 pp.

Spanoghe M, 1835. Catalogue of the plants found on Timor and the neighbouring islands. Companion to the botanical magazine; being a journal, containing such botanical information as does not come within the prescribed limits of the magazine; with occasional figures.

USDA-ARS, 2015. 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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13/01/17 Original text by: 

Eduardo Ventosa-Febles, Consultant, Puerto Rico

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