Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Colubrina asiatica
(latherleaf)

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Datasheet

Colubrina asiatica (latherleaf)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Colubrina asiatica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • latherleaf
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. asiatica is a highly invasive shrub species especially appearing in coastal habitats. In areas with full sunlight it grows aggressively, monopolizing resources and space and thus outcompeting native vegetati...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); invasive habit, scrambling over power lines. Pukoo, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); invasive habit, scrambling over power lines. Pukoo, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); invasive habit, scrambling over power lines. Pukoo, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.
Invasive habitColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); invasive habit, scrambling over power lines. Pukoo, Molokai, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Delray Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Delray Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Delray Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
HabitColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Delray Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.
HabitColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); habit. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. May, 2005.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
TitleFoliage
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
FoliageColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); leaves at Greenhouse Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March, 2013.
TitleLeaves
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); leaves at Greenhouse Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March, 2013.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); leaves at Greenhouse Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March, 2013.
LeavesColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); leaves at Greenhouse Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March, 2013.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and flowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
TitleFoliage
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and flowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and flowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
FoliageColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and flowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close-up offlowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
TitleFlowers
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close-up offlowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close-up offlowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
FlowersColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close-up offlowers. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage, flowers and fruits. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
TitleFoliage
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage, flowers and fruits. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage, flowers and fruits. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
FoliageColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage, flowers and fruits. Boynton Beach, Florida, USA. September, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close view of leaf and an unripe fruit. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
TitleLeaf and fruit
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close view of leaf and an unripe fruit. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close view of leaf and an unripe fruit. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.
Leaf and fruitColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); close view of leaf and an unripe fruit. Hoolawa Farms, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November, 2006.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and fruits. USA.
TitleFoliage and fruits
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and fruits. USA.
Copyright©Dan Clark/USDI National Park Service/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and fruits. USA.
Foliage and fruitsColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); foliage and fruits. USA.©Dan Clark/USDI National Park Service/Bugwood.org - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); seeds. USA.
TitleSeeds
CaptionColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); seeds. USA.
Copyright©Steve Hurst/USDA NRCS PLANTS Database/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Colubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); seeds. USA.
SeedsColubrina asiatica (hoop-withe, Asian nakedwood, anapanapa); seeds. USA.©Steve Hurst/USDA NRCS PLANTS Database/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Colubrina asiatica (L.) Brongn.

Preferred Common Name

  • latherleaf

Other Scientific Names

  • Ceanothus asiaticus L.
  • Ceanothus capsularis G.Forst.
  • Colubrina asiatica var. subpubescens (Pit.) M.C.Johnst.
  • Colubrina capsularis G. Forst.
  • Pomaderris capsularis (G. Forst.) G. Don
  • Rhamnus acuminata Colebr. ex Roxb.
  • Rhamnus asiatica (L.) Lam. ex Poir.
  • Rhamnus splendens Blume
  • Sageretia splendens (Blume) G. Don
  • Tubanthera katapa Raf.

International Common Names

  • English: Asian nakedwood; Asian snake-wood; Asiatic colubrine; Asiatic snakewood; hoop white; hoop-withe; Indian snakewood
  • Chinese: she teng

Local Common Names

  • Australia: beach berry bush; colubrina
  • Jamaica: hoop withe
  • Papua New Guinea: orogogo
  • Singapore: Peria laut
  • USA/Hawaii: anapanapa; kauila anapanapa; kauila kukuku; kolokolo; kukuku

EPPO code

  • CXRAS (Colubrina asiatica)

Summary of Invasiveness

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C. asiatica is a highly invasive shrub species especially appearing in coastal habitats. In areas with full sunlight it grows aggressively, monopolizing resources and space and thus outcompeting native vegetation. It also has the capability to spread into relatively undisturbed natural areas. Because its seeds are dispersed by ocean currents and birds, this species has a wide dispersal range. Additionally, the plant exhibits tremendous vegetative regeneration, including adventitious rooting from branches coming in contact with the soil and vigorous resprouting from cut stems (McCormick, 2007; Langeland et al., 2008; Smith, 2010). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Rhamnales
  •                         Family: Rhamnaceae
  •                             Genus: Colubrina
  •                                 Species: Colubrina asiatica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The family Rhamnaceae includes 52 genera and 925 species distributed worldwide, especially in the tropics and warm temperate regions of the world (Stevens, 2012). Species within the Rhamnaceae are recognizable by their toothed, stipulate leaves that often have strong, parallel secondary veins. Their flowers have stamens opposite the often clawed petals, a hypanthium with a nectary inside, and a valvate calyx with sepals that are ridged down the middle on their inner surfaces. The capsules are dehiscent, the fruit wall often separating into two layers with the inner woody layer twisting as dehiscence occurs. There is often a conspicuous rim on the outside of the fruit towards the base marking the place where the hypanthium was attached (Stevens, 2012). 

The genus Colubrina contains about 23 species of trees and shrubs of nearly pan-tropical distribution (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). The generic name is derived from the Latin coluber, snake or like a serpent, referring to the snake-like stems or stamens. The common name latherleaf for C. asiatica reflects the saponins it contains, which enable it to produce a lather in water.

Description

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Scandent, evergreen shrubs. Young branchlets glabrous. Leaves alternate; petiole 1-1.6 cm, pilose; leaf blade ovate, broadly ovate, or cordate, 4-8 × 2-5 cm, submembranous, both surfaces glabrous or subglabrous, venation pinnate, secondary veins 2 or 3 pairs, prominent on both surfaces, base rounded or subcordate, margin coarsely crenate, apex acuminate, emarginate. Flowers yellow, 5-merous, few in axillary thyrses. Pedicel 2-3 mm. Calyx tube hemispherical; sepals 5, triangular, adaxially distinctly keeled; petals 5, obovate, cucullate, as long as stamens, clawed; stamens 5; disk fleshy; ovary immersed in stout disk, 2- or 3-loculed; style ± deeply 2- or 3-fid. Capsule globose, 7-9 mm in diam., basally surrounded by remains of calyx tube, loculicidally dehiscent at maturity; locules 1-seeded; fruiting pedicel 4-6 mm. Seeds grayish brown (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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C. asiatica is native to Africa (Mozambique, Kenya), China, southeastern Asia, Australia (Queensland) and to several islands in the Pacific Ocean (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014; PROTA, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014). It has been introduced to the West Indies, Mexico and Florida (ISSG, 2005; Langeland et al., 2008; USDA-NRCS, 2014). 

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
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

KenyaPresentNativePROTA (2014)
MadagascarPresentNativePROTA (2014)
MozambiquePresentNativePROTA (2014)
SeychellesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)

Asia

CambodiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
ChinaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-GuangxiPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
IndiaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
IndonesiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
LaosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
MalaysiaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
MaldivesPresentNativeSelvam (2007)
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
PhilippinesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
SingaporePresentNativeFlora of Singapore (2014)
Sri LankaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
TaiwanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2014)
ThailandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
VietnamPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)

North America

BahamasPresentIntroducedInvasiveSmith (2010)
Cayman IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
CubaPresentIntroducedOviedo Prieto et al. (2012)Potentially invasive
GuadeloupePresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
MartiniquePresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
MexicoPresentIntroducedISSG (2008)
United StatesPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-FloridaPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlorida Exotic Pest Plant Council (2013)
-HawaiiPresentNativeWagner et al. (1999)

Oceania

AustraliaPresentCABI (Undated)Present based on regional distribution.
-QueenslandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
FijiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
GuamPresentNativeWagner et al. (2012)
NauruPresentNativeWagner et al. (2012)
New CaledoniaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNativeWagner et al. (2012)
PalauPresentNativeWagner et al. (2012)
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
Solomon IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)
VanuatuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2014)

History of Introduction and Spread

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C. asiatica has been introduced outside its native range to be used in traditional medicine, as fish poison, and as a soap substitute (ISSG, 2005; Langeland et al., 2008). The species was first recorded in Jamaica in the 1860s where it had apparently been introduced by East Asian immigrants during the 1850s (Johnston, 1971). It is believed that viable seeds have been dispersed by ocean currents to other islands within the Caribbean Region, including the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, and south Florida, where it has become naturalized (Johnston, 1971; McCormick, 2007). In Florida (USA), C. asiatica was first recorded as naturalized in 1933 (Langeland et al., 2008). 

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of C. asiatica is high. This species is often introduced as an ornamental and for medicinal purposes. In addition, because its seeds are dispersed by ocean currents and birds, it is highly likely to reach new habitat, principally in coastal areas and in areas near cultivation (McCormick, 2007; Langeland et al., 2008; Smith, 2010).

Habitat

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C. asiatica grows in coastal areas, sand dunes, riparian habitats, near mangroves, woodland, and grasslands. It is also common in waste land near residential areas (Selvam, 2007). In Jamaica, it is common in coastal thickets and on sandy and rocky shores and cays (Adams, 1972). In Florida, this species invades coastal ridges subtended by low permeability, marl soils, immediately above high tide lines, in buttonwood, mangrove, and tropical hardwood hammocks and tidal marshes (McCormick, 2007; Langeland et al., 2008; Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013). 

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
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
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Mangroves Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Mangroves Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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In Florida, C. asiatica is invading ecologically sensitive coastal communities in the Everglades National Park. These communities contain a number of Florida-listed threatened, endangered and endemic species (Jones, 1996, 1997), including:

  • West Indian mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni)
  • Thatch-palm (Thrinax radiata)
  • Wild cinnamon (Canella winterana)
  • manchineel (Hippomane mancinella)
  • Cacti (Cereus spp.)
  • Bromeliads (Tillandsia spp.)
  • Orchids (Prosthechea boothiana,Trichocentrum luridum)
  • Beach star (Remirea maritima)
  • Cedar (Suriana maritima)

Biology and Ecology

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Physiology and Phenology

In Asia, C. asiatica has been recorded flowering from June to September and fruiting from September to December (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). In Florida, it has been reported flowering year-round, but most often in July with fruits maturing in September (Jones 1996; Langeland et al., 2008). Few insects have been recorded visiting flowers of this species in Florida and the West Indies, suggesting that at least in these locations the species reproduces primarily by asexual means, either via vegetative apomixis or agamospermy (Briggs and Walters, 1997; McCormick, 2007).

The seeds of C. asiatica germinate rapidly in full sun and the growing plant climbs onto the supporting vegetation. The plant roots where the stem falls back onto the ground from where it climbs again. The stems resprout vigorously when cut or injured (Smith, 2010; Flora of Singapore, 2014).

Environmental Requirements

C. asiatica grows best in humid habitats with annual temperature ranging from 20° to 30°C and annual rainfall from 1000 to 3000 mm. This species grows on sandy soils (i.e., mixed sand from coral reef and oceanic sources) and in areas with full sunlight (McCormick, 2007). 

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

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 20 30

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall10003000mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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The seeds of C. asiatica are dispersed by water as well as by birds. Seeds are morphologically and physiologically adapted to be dispersed by ocean currents (McCormick, 2007; Langeland et al., 2008). Cuttings and stem fragments resprout vigorously (Smith, 2010; Flora of Singapore, 2014). 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escapeFrequently found in coastal hammocks. Escaped from cultivation Yes Jones, 1996
Medicinal useUsed in traditional medicine Yes Yes ISSG, 2005
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes McCormick, 2007

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
WaterSeeds dispersed by ocean currents Yes Yes McCormick, 2007

Impact Summary

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

Environmental Impact

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C. asiatica is a very aggressive species. Once established, it grows forming very dense, monospecific thickets up to several metres thick. The plant represents a threat to native biodiversity, because it may alter the structure and function of habitats by outcompeting native vegetation indirectly by exploiting shared resources more efficiently than native species, or directly by physically growing over subtending vegetation (McCormick, 2007; Langeland et al., 2008). In Florida, it is invading coastal ridge woodlands, mangroves, tropical hardwood hammocks and tidal marshes and it is threatening a number of endemic and endangered species (Jones, 1996, 1997; McCormick, 2007; Langeland et al., 2008; Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013). In Bahamas, this species has a sprawling habit, forming a thick mat of stems on native plants, preventing light penetration, impeding germination of plants, and thus threatening native species (Smith, 2010).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Canella winteranaNo DetailsFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringJones, 1996
Hippomane mancinellaNo DetailsFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringJones, 1996
Prosthechea boothiana (Florida dollar orchid)No DetailsFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringJones, 1996 Endangered in Florida
Swietenia mahagoni (Cuban mahogany)EN (IUCN red list: Endangered)FloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringJones, 1996
Thrinax radiataNatureServeFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringJones, 1996
Trichocentrum luridumNo DetailsFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringJones, 1996 Endangered in Florida

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its 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
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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C. asiatica is often planted as an ornamental and to be used for medicinal purposes (USDA-ARS, 2014). The bark contains saponins that lather in the water and is used as a soap. In Samoa it is used for bleaching and cleaning mats. Leaves and fruits are used as fish poison. In the Maldives, leaves are used to alleviate inflammations and boils. In order to alleviate painful swellings, leaves are crushed and juice is rubbed on the affected body. Young stems are cut into pieces and boiled in water, which is drunk to alleviate stomach disorders. Medicinal oil is prepared from seeds along with other ingredients, and is used to treat rheumatism and numbness in adults and also in treating weak legs in children (McCormick, 2007; Selvam, 2007; Flora of Singapore, 2014). 

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

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.

Physical/Mechanical Control

Small infestations of C. asiatica may be controlled manually by hand-pulling as long as their root systems are small and can also be removed. Care should be taken not to disturb the soil any more than necessary (McCormick, 2007) and to properly dispose of the removed material.

Biological Control

To date, no biological control has been reported for C. asiatica. However, Zheng et al. (2005) reported that the following three arthropods were being tested for host specificity in C. asiatica:

  • Artimpaza argenteonotata (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
  • Niphona parallela (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae)
  • Paracopta duodecimpuctatum (Hemiptera: Plataspidae)

Chemical Control

In Florida, the following herbicides have been recommended for the chemical control of C. asiatica (McCormick, 2007):

  • 10% solution of triclopyr in a band around the base of the trunk
  • 50% solution of triclopyr on a freshly cut trunk.

Because of the possibility of resprouting from the rooted portions of the plant, follow-up inspections and retreatments are necessary.

References

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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. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies, 848 pp.

Briggs D; Walters SM, 1997. Plant Variation and Evolution, 3rd edn. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. 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

Flora of Singapore, 2014. Colubrina asiatica in Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online. http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/plants/coastal/colubrina/asiatica.htm

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ISSG, 2005. Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland. http://www.issg.org/database

Johnston MC, 1971. Revision of Colubrina asiatica (Rhamnaceae). Brittonia, 23:2-53.

Jones DT, 1996. The Status and Management of Colubrina asiatica (Latherleaf) in Everglades National Park. Homestead, Florida, USA: South Florida Natural Resources Center.

Jones DT, 1997. Ecological consequences of Colubrina (Colubrina asiatica) in southern Florida. Wildland Weeds, 1997(Winter).

Langeland KA; Cherry HM; McCormick CM; Craddock Burks KA, 2008. Identification and Biology of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas. Gainesville, Florida, USA: University of Florida IFAS Extension.

McCormick CM, 2007. Colubrina asiatica (Lather leaf) Management Plan. Colubrina Task Force, Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Florida, USA: Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 61 pp.

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.

PROTA, 2014. PROTA4U web database. Grubben GJH, Denton OA, eds. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp

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Smith RL, 2010. Invasive alien plant species of The Bahamas and biodiversity management. Masters of Environmental Science Thesis. Oxford, Ohio, USA: Miami University.

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

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

Wagner WL; Herbst DR; Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised ed. Honolulu, USA: University of Hawaii Press.

Wagner WL; Herbst DR; Tornabene MW; Weitzman A; Lorence DH, 2012. Flora of Micronesia website. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/pacificislandbiodiversity/micronesia/index.htm

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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., 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

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. 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

Flora of Singapore, 2014. Colubrina asiatica in Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Online., http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/plants/coastal/colubrina/asiatica.htm

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2013. List of Invasive Plant Species., USA: Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. http://www.fleppc.org/list/list.htm

ISSG, 2008. Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). In: Global Invasive Species Database (GISD), Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland. http://www.issg.org/database

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.

PROTA, 2014. PROTA4U web database., [ed. by Grubben GJH, Denton OA]. Wageningen, Netherlands: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp

Selvam V, 2007. RAP Publication, Bangkok, Thailand: FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. vi + 239 pp. http://www.fao.org/world/regional/rap/publication_catalogue.asp

Smith RL, 2010. Invasive alien plant species of The Bahamas and biodiversity management. Masters of Environmental Science Thesis., Oxford, Ohio, USA: Miami University.

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised ed., Honolulu, USA: University of Hawaii Press.

Wagner WL, Herbst DR, Tornabene MW, Weitzman A, Lorence DH, 2012. Flora of Micronesia website., Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/pacificislandbiodiversity/micronesia/index.htm

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida, IFAShttp://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/109
Colubrina asiatica (L.) Brongnhttp://www.fleppc.org/ID_book/colubrina%20asiatica.pdf
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Councilhttp://www.fleppc.org
Global Invasive Species Databasehttp://www.issg.org/database/welcome
Total Vascular Flora of Singapore Onlinehttp://floraofsingapore.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/colubrina-asiatica/

Contributors

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05/02/15 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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