Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Cardiospermum halicacabum
(balloon vine)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Cardiospermum halicacabum (balloon vine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 14 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cardiospermum halicacabum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • balloon vine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. halicacabum is a long-lived scrambling, creeping, or climbing vine that is a weed of gardens, roadsides, disturbed sites and plantations. It has also the ability to climb and cover mature trees up to 8 m or...

  • There are no pictures available for this datasheet

    If you can supply pictures for this datasheet please contact:

    Compendia
    CAB International
    Wallingford
    Oxfordshire
    OX10 8DE
    UK
    compend@cabi.org
  • Distribution map More information

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cardiospermum halicacabum L.

Preferred Common Name

  • balloon vine

Other Scientific Names

  • Cardiospermum acuminatum Miq.
  • Cardiospermum corycodes Kunze
  • Cardiospermum glabrum Schumach. & Thonn.
  • Cardiospermum inflatum Salisb.
  • Cardiospermum luridum Blume
  • Cardiospermum moniliferum Schwagr. ex Steud.
  • Corindum halicacabum (L.) Medik.

International Common Names

  • English: heart pea; heartseed; lesser balloonvine; love in a puff; small balloon creeper; small balloon vine; winter-cherry
  • Spanish: amor en bolsita; bejuco Colorado; farolito; globitos; revienta caballo
  • French: pois de merveille
  • Chinese: dao di ling
  • Portuguese: balaozinho

Local Common Names

  • Australia: small balloon vine
  • Costa Rica: amor en bolsita; farolito; globitos
  • Cuba: farolito (var. halicacabum); revienta caballos
  • Dominican Republic: toffe-toffe
  • Germany: Ballonrebe; Blasenerbse; Herzsame
  • Haiti: bonnet carré; persil bâtard; pois de merveille; pois merveille
  • Indonesia: cenet (Malay, Western Sumatra); ketipes (Javanese); paria gunung (Sundanese)
  • Italy: vesicaria del cuore
  • Lesser Antilles: bonne kawe; bonnet care; chapeau carre; heart seed; liane persil; lyann pesi; pesi bata; sprain bush vine; wild parsley
  • Malaysia: bintang berahi; peria bulan; uban kayu
  • Mexico: pejuco colorado
  • Netherlands: Blaaserwt
  • Philippines: kana; paria-aso; parol-parolan
  • South Africa: lesser balloon vine
  • Thailand: kok kra om; luupleep khruea; pho om

EPPO code

  • CRIHA (Cardiospermum halicacabum)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

C. halicacabum is a long-lived scrambling, creeping, or climbing vine that is a weed of gardens, roadsides, disturbed sites and plantations. It has also the ability to climb and cover mature trees up to 8 m or more in height (Weeds of Australia, 2015). This species is often cultivated as an ornamental in gardens of tropical and subtropical regions of the world for its inflated balloon shaped fruits (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; PIER, 2015; PROTA, 2015; Weeds of Australia, 2015). It has escaped from cultivation, and once naturalized it grows over native vegetation smothering trees, shrubs and understory vegetation. It is very successful invading forest margins, woodland, grassland, riverbanks, floodplains and rocky sites. Dense infestations can also impede access, increase the risk and intensity of fires and harbour pests and diseases (Invasive Species South Africa, 2015). Currently, C. halicacabum is regarded as a weed and invasive species in Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, New Caledonia, Singapore, the USA, and Cuba (Foxcroft et al., 2003; Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; BioNet-EAfrinet, 2015; PIER, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2015; Weeds of Australia, 2015). 

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Sapindales
  •                         Family: Sapindaceae
  •                             Genus: Cardiospermum
  •                                 Species: Cardiospermum halicacabum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

The family Sapindaceae includes 142 genera and approximately 1900 species distributed worldwide. Sapindaceae, along with the families Bignoniaceae and Fabaceae, are the major components of the vine vegetation of the Neotropics (Stevens, 2012). The genus Cardiospermum currently comprises 17 species of subshrubs and herbaceous climbers commonly called balloon vines (the Plant List, 2013). Around half of the species occur in moist tropical and subtropical regions of the world while other species are well-adapted to arid and semiarid habitats (Ferrucci and Urdampilleta, 2011; Gildenhuys et al., 2013). Cardiospermum is mostly restricted to the Neotropics (from Mexico to southern South-America; Ferrucci and Urdampilleta, 2011), with three species that extend into the Paleotropics. The species C. halicacabum is often listed as a cosmopolitan species with a wide distribution. The native status of this species is highly debated and still remains uncertain (Ferrucci and Urdampilleta, 2011; Urdampilleta et al., 2013; Gildenhuys et al., 2013).

The name Cardiospermum is the combination of the Latin words “cardio” meaning heart, and “sperma” meaning seed and refers to the white heart-shaped pattern (pseudohilum) observed on the seeds (USDA-NRCS, 2015). 

Description

Top of page

Herbaceous vine, much branched from the base, climbs by means of tendrils and attains 1.5-2 m in length. Stems with 5 longitudinal ribs, glabrous or puberulent; cross section with a single vascular cylinder. Leaves alternate, biternate; leaflets chartaceous, puberulent or sparsely pubescent, the apex obtuse, acute, or acuminate, the base attenuate, the margins lobate or laciniate; terminal leaflet lanceolate or triangular, rhombic or narrowly lanceolate in outline, 2-3.5(5) cm long; lateral leaflets ovate, lanceolate, or oblong in outline, 1-2.5 cm long; rachis and petiole not winged; petioles 2-3 cm long; stipules lanceolate, approximately 5 mm long; tendrils in pairs, spirally twisted, at the end of short axillary axes (aborted inflorescences), from which an inflorescence usually develops. Flowers functionally unisexual, zygomorphic, in axillary racemiform thyrses, shorter than the accompanying leaf. Calyx light green, of 4 unequal sepals, the outer ones approximately 1.2 mm long, the inner ones 3-3.5 mm long. Petals white, obovate, 2.5-3.5 mm long; petaliferous appendages slightly shorter than the petals, fleshy and yellow at the apex, forming a hood that encloses the apex of the glands of the disc; disc unilateral, with 4 rounded or ovoid glands, approximately 0.4 mm long; stamens 8, the filaments unequal, pubescent; ovary trilocular, with one style and 3 stigmas. Capsules brown, pearlike, turbinate-obtriangular or sometimes nearly ellipsoid, 1.5-3 × 2-4 cm, pubescent. Seeds black, shiny, approximately 5 mm in diameter; hilum green when fresh, white when dry, cordate (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). 

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Biennial
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vine / climber

Distribution

Top of page

The native status of C. halicacabum is highly debated and its biogeographical history remains uncertain (Gildenhuys et al., 2013). It is probably native to the Neotropics, but is also distributed in the tropics of the Old World. Currently, C. halicacabum is regarded as being native to South and Central America while its status is questioned in North America (Rojo and Pitargue, 1999; Gildenhuys et al., 2013; USDA-ARS, 2015). Biogeographic analysis by Gildenhuys et al. (2015) gave unclear results for the overall native range, but suggested an alien status in southern Africa.

Distribution Table

Top of page

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

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FujianPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-GansuPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-GuizhouPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-HainanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-Hong KongPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-HubeiPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-SichuanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
-YunnanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2015Probably introduced
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2015
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-KarnatakaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2016
-KeralaPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2016
-MaharashtraPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2016
-Tamil NaduPresentIndia Biodiversity Portal, 2016
IndonesiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2015
JapanPresentIntroducedMito and Uesugi, 2004
-Bonin IslandPresentIntroducedKato, 2007
MalaysiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2015
MaldivesPresentPIER, 2015
MyanmarPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Rojo and Pitargue, 1999
NepalPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
OmanPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
PakistanPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
PhilippinesPresentWaterhouse, 1993; Rojo and Pitargue, 1999
SingaporePresentIntroduced Invasive Chong et al., 2009
Sri LankaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
ThailandPresentIntroducedRojo and Pitargue, 1999Weed
VietnamPresentWaterhouse, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2015
YemenPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced

Africa

AngolaPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
BotswanaPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
BurundiPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
Cape VerdePresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
EgyptPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
Equatorial GuineaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
EritreaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
EthiopiaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
GhanaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
GuineaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
Guinea-BissauPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
KenyaPresentIntroduced Invasive BioNET-EAFRINET, 2015
LesothoPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
LiberiaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
MadagascarPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
MalawiPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
MaliPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
MauritiusPresentPIER, 2015
MozambiquePresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
NamibiaPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
NigeriaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
RwandaPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
SenegalPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
SeychellesPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
Sierra LeonePresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
SomaliaPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
South AfricaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Foxcroft et al., 2003Widespread principally in the eastern parts of the country
SwazilandPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive BioNET-EAFRINET, 2015
TogoPresentUSDA-ARS, 2015Probably introduced
UgandaPresentIntroduced Invasive BioNET-EAFRINET, 2015
ZambiaPresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced
ZimbabwePresentPROTA, 2015Probably introduced

North America

MexicoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2015Noxious weed
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2015Noxious weed
-ConnecticutPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-FloridaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2015
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedWagner et al., 1999
-IllinoisPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-IndianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-KansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MississippiPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2015Plant pest
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015
-TexasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2015Noxius plant

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
BahamasPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
BarbadosWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
Cayman IslandsPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
Costa RicaPresentNativeMorales Quirós, 2015
CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012
DominicaWidespreadBroome et al., 2007; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
Dominican RepublicPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
GrenadaWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
GuadeloupeWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
GuatemalaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
HaitiPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
HondurasPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
JamaicaPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
MartiniqueWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
MontserratWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
Netherlands AntillesWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
NicaraguaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
PanamaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
Puerto RicoPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native
Saint Kitts and NevisWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
Saint LuciaWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesWidespreadBroome et al., 2007Probably native
Sint MaartenPresentBroome et al., 2007Probably native
Trinidad and TobagoPresentAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Probably native

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
BoliviaPresentNativeJørgensen et al., 2014Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La pAz, Sata Cruz
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AcrePresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-AmapaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-AmazonasPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-BahiaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Espirito SantoPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-MaranhaoPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Mato GrossoPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Minas GeraisPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-ParaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-ParaibaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-ParanaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-PernambucoPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-RoraimaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-Sao PauloPresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
-SergipePresentNativeSomner et al., 2015
ChilePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
EcuadorPresentNativeJørgensen and León-Yànez, 1999Azuay, Carchi, Oro, Guayas, Manabi, Napo, Pichincha, Pastaza
-Galapagos IslandsPresentJørgensen and León-Yànez, 1999
French GuianaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007
GuyanaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007
ParaguayPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
PeruPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
SurinamePresentNativeFunk et al., 2007
UruguayPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2015
VenezuelaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007

Europe

BelgiumPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015
FrancePresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015Established
GreecePresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015
SpainPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2015Established

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2015
-New South WalesPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2015
-QueenslandPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2015
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroduced Invasive Weeds of Australia, 2015
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2002
FijiPresentPIER, 2015
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2013Also listed as native (PIER, 2015)
GuamPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive MacKee, 1994
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2004
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015
Papua New GuineaPresentPIER, 2015
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER, 2015
TongaPresentIntroduced Invasive Space and Flynn, 2001
VanuatuPresentPIER, 2015
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Whistler, 1988

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

The ornamental trade of C. halicacabum spans more than 100 years. However, in Australia, it is speculated that C. halicacabum was introduced during James Cook’s second voyage in the 1770’s (Bean, 2007; Harris et al., 2007). In South Africa, the introduction of C. halicacabum occurred approximately 100 years ago (Simelane et al., 2011). In North America, C. halicacabum was reported in the Spontaneous Illinois Vascular Flora before 1922 and was described as abundant in Oklahoma in the 1820’s (Gildenhuys et al., 2013). In Cuba, where this species is listed as introduced and invasive (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012), it appears in herbarium collections made in 1910 (US National Herbarium).

C. halicacabum also occurs in Asia. In China it is described as a common weed in forest margins, shrublands, grasslands, cultivated areas and wastelands of the east, south and southwest (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015) while in India it is a widespread weed. The history of C. halicacabum in these countries is unknown, but it is widely used for medicinal purposes (Subramanyam et al., 2007; Gildenhuys et al., 2013).

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

The risk of introduction of C. halicacabum is high. This species has been extensively moved around the world for its medicinal and ornamental uses. C. halicacabum produces inflated balloon shaped fruits which are the main ornamental attraction of this species. Coincidently this trait also contributes to its colonization success, because these balloons can float in seawater and stay viable for long periods of time, facilitating long distance dispersal, even between landmasses (Gildenhuys et al., 2013).

Habitat

Top of page

C. halicacabum is often cultivated as an ornamental for its curious papery capsules (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005). This species has repeatedly escaped from cultivation and once naturalized it can be found growing in disturbed or open areas, like roadsides and thickets, in pastures, cultivated areas, forest margins, riparian zones, shrublands, and grasslands at low elevations in dry and moist habitats (Wagner et al., 1999; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). In the Galapagos Islands it grows in arid lowlands (McMullen, 1999). 

Habitat List

Top of page
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
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 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
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rocky areas / lava flows Present, no further details Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page

C. halicacabum is a weed with substantial economic impacts on sugarcane and soyabean plantations (Gildenhuys et al., 2013). 

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

Top of page
Plant nameFamilyContext
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
SaccharumPoaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

The chromosome number reported for C. halicacabum is 2n = 22 (Hemmer and Morawetz, 1990).

Reproductive Biology

C. halicacabum flowers are hermaphrodite and are visited by insects including bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies (PIER, 2015). It can be found flowering and fruiting throughout the year, except for prolonged periods of drought (Rojo and Pitargue, 1999).

Physiology and Phenology

C. halicacabum is a perennial vine that can be propagated by seed and cuttings. Seeds germinate at temperatures from 15-40°C with an optimum of 35°C, and taking about 3 weeks. Scarification with concentrated sulphuric acid may facilitate germination. Seedlings and young plants are able to survive flooded, saturated and dry conditions while performing best in intermediate conditions (Gildenhuys et al., 2013).

In China, C. halicacabum has been recorded flowering in the summer-autumn and fruiting in the autumn-early winter (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). In Puerto Rico, it has been collected in flower and fruit in December and March (Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005). In North America, it flowers from July to August and seeds ripen from August to October (USDA-NRCS, 2015). In South Africa, this species produces flowers and fruits mainly from January to June (PROTA, 2015).

Environmental Requirements

C. halicacabum can be found growing in a wide range of ecological conditions, including wet or seasonal climates, acid and basic soils, and in dry, marshy or periodically flooded places. It prefers sunny places, such as wasteland, roadsides, grassland, scrub, hedges and forest edges, at altitudes up to 1500 m. It cannot grow in shaded areas (Rojo and Pitargue, 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005; PROTA, 2015).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
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])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
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)

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 36
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 8

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Cissoanthonomus tuberculipennis Herbivore Seeds not specific
Phyllachora rimulosa Pathogen All Stages not specific
Puccinia arechavaletae Pathogen All Stages not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

In 2003, the South Africa’s Working for Water program launched a research initiative to find biological control agents against C. grandiflorum (Simelane et al., 2011). Eight insects and two fungal agents were identified and put for host specificity testing in South Africa (Simelane et al., 2011). Most are capable of feeding and developing on other Cardiospermum spp. in South Africa, in particular C. halicacabum and C. corindum (McKay et al., 2010). Three promising agents were identified:

  • a seedfeeding weevil (Curculionidae: Cissoanthonomus tuberculipennis),
  • a fruit-galling midge (Cecidomyiidae: Contarinia spp.)
  • a rust fungus Puccinia arechavaletae

Despite concerns about potential non-target impacts of candidate control agents initially preventing the release of these agents (Gildenhuys et al., 2013), approval was later given for release of the weevil C. tuberculipennis. Gildenhuys et al. (2015) suggested that while monitoring of the native Cardiospermum species C. corindum and C. pechuelli for non-target impacts of the weevil was strongly recommended, in light of the introduced status of C. halicacabum then any possible impacts on this species were a lesser concern from the standpoint of native species protection.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

C. halicacabum spreads by seeds, which are dispersed by birds, wind and water. Fruits can float on both seawater and freshwater and therefore they can be dispersed by ocean and water currents.

Long-distance introductions of this species are mainly the result of human activities (Rojo and Pitargue, 1999; Gildenhuys et al., 2013). It can also be dispersed as a potential seed contaminant and in dumped garden waste (USDA-ARS, 2015). 

Pathway Causes

Top of page
CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceOften common along roadsides and disturbed areas Yes Yes Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2005
Escape from confinement or garden escapeCan escape from cultivated areas Yes Yes Gildenhuys et al., 2013
Medicinal useMedicinal plant Yes Yes Gildenhuys et al., 2013
Ornamental purposesWidely commercialized as ornamental Yes Yes Gildenhuys et al., 2013

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeeds Yes Yes Gildenhuys et al., 2013
WaterFruits can float in seawater Yes Gildenhuys et al., 2013
WindSeeds Yes Yes Gildenhuys et al., 2013

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive and negative

Economic Impact

Top of page

C. halicacabum is a major weed with substantial economic impacts on sugarcane and soyabean plantations (Gildenhuys et al., 2013). It is also listed as an environmental weed in Australia and South Africa where dense infestations can impede access, increase the risk and intensity of fires and harbour pests and diseases (Invasive Species South Africa, 2015; Weeds of Australia, 2015). 

Environmental Impact

Top of page

C. halicacabum is globally listed as an aggressive invasive plant species. It is a “transformer weed” that grows forming a dense and thick curtain of stems and leaves which excludes light and inhibits photosynthesis in the native plants below (McKay et al. 2010; Weeds of Australia, 2015). The weight of this vegetation can also contribute to canopy collapse and ecosystem destruction. It invades forest margins, woodland, grassland, riverbanks, floodplains and rocky sites. Dense infestations can also increase the risk and intensity of fires, altering the successional process in natural habitats (Gildenhuys et al., 2013; Weeds of Australia, 2015).

Social Impact

Top of page

Because C. halicacabum contains potentially toxic compounds such as saponins, cyanolipids and cyanogenic glycosides, it can be toxic for humans (Rojo and Pitargue, 1999).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • 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
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Loss of medicinal resources
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • 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 accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

Top of page

C. halicacabum is cultivated as an ornamental and medicinal plant (PROTA, 2015). The root is the most important plant part used for medicinal purposes. In South-East Asia it is considered to be a diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, antipyretic and purgative. Apart from its medicinal uses, C. halicacabum is eaten as a vegetable, the stems serve to make baskets and the seeds are used as beads. An edible oil can be obtained from the seed (Rojo and Pitargue, 1999).

Uses List

Top of page

Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Forage

Environmental

  • Amenity

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Materials

  • Baskets
  • Beads
  • Oils

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

C. halicacabum is very similar to the closely related species Cardiospermum grandiflorum. These two species can be distinguished by the following differences (Weeds of Australia, 2015):

  • Cardiospermum halicacabum has relatively small leaves (4-12 cm long) and finely hairy to almost hairless younger stems. Its flowers (3-4 mm long) and papery capsules (1-3 cm long) are also relatively small; nectary glands 4, ovoid, ca. 0.4 mm long.
  • Cardiospermum grandiflorum has relatively large leaves (6-16 cm long) and densely hairy younger stems. Its flowers (6-11 mm long) and papery capsules (5-6.5 cm long) are also relatively large; nectary glands 2, corniform, 1.2-2 mm long.

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Small Cardiospermum invasions can be controlled using manual removal or burning (Subramanyam et al., 2007). Manual removal involves cutting plants at the base, enabling the top part to die off, after which roots are dug out which is very labour intensive (McKay et al. 2010).

Chemical Control

Chemical control of larger Cardiospermum infestations includes treatment with paraquat, glufosinate-ammonium, lactofen, carfentrazone-ethyl, sulfentrazone, glyphosate or 2, 4-dichloraphenoxy acetic acid (Subramanyam et al., 2007). However, the use of chemical control could potentially be problematic due to the typical proximity of invasions to waterways making environmental contamination a threat (Simelane et al., 2011). Another problem in the management of Cardiospermum invasions is the persistent seedbank. Therefore chemical control should be repeated until control (Gildenhuys et al., 2013). 

References

Top of page

Acevedo-Rodríguez P, 2005. Vines and climbing plants of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, 51:483 pp.

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

Bean AR, 2007. A new system for determining which plant species are indigenous in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany, 20(1):1-43. http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/150.htm

BioNET-EAFRINET, 2015. East African Network for Taxonomy. Online Key and Fact Sheets for Invasive plants. http://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/eafrinet/weeds/key/weeds/Media/Html/index.htm

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

Chong KY; Tan HTW; Corlett RT, 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Singapore: Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, 273 pp. http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/nus/pdf/PUBLICATION/LKCNH%20Museum%20Books/LKCNHM%20Books/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

DAISIE, 2015. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. European Invasive Alien Species Gateway. www.europe-aliens.org/default.do

Ferrucci MS; Urdampilleta JD, 2011. Cardiospermum bahianum (Sapindaceae: Paullinieae), a new species from Bahia, Brazil. Systematic Botany, 36(4):950-956. http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1600/036364411X604967

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015. 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

Florence J; Chevillotte H; Ollier C; Meyer J-Y, 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP) (Botanical database of the Nadeaud Herbarium of French Polynesia). http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

Foxcroft LC; Henderson L; Nichols GR; Martin BW, 2003. A revised list of alien plants for the Kruger National Park. Koedoe, 46(2):21-44.

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, 584 pp.

Gildenhuys E; Ellis AG; Carroll SP; Roux JJle, 2013. The ecology, biogeography, history and future of two globally important weeds: Cardiospermum halicacabum Linn. and C. grandiflorum sw. NeoBiota, No.19:45-65. http://www.pensoft.net/journals/neobiota/article/5279/the-ecology-biogeography-history-and-future-of-two-globally-important-weeds-cardiospermum-halicacabum-linn-and-c-grandif

Gildenhuys E; Ellis AG; Carroll SP; Roux JJle, 2015. Combining natal range distributions and phylogeny to resolve biogeographic uncertainties in balloon vines (Cardiospermum, Sapindaceae). Diversity and Distributions, 21(2):163-174. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1472-4642

Harris CJ; Murray BR; Hose GC; Hamilton MA, 2007. Introduction history and invasion success in exotic vines introduced to Australia. Diversity and Distributions, 13(4):467-475. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/ddi

Hemmer W; Morawetz W, 1990. Karyological differentiation in Sapindaceae with special reference to Serjania and Cardiospermum.. Botanica Acta, 103(4):372-383.

India Biodiversity Portal, 2016. Online Portal of India Biodiversity. http://indiabiodiversity.org/species/list

Invasive Species South Africa, 2015. Plants A-Z: Flora that is invasive in South Africa. South Africa: Invasive Species South Africa. http://www.invasives.org.za/plants/plants-a-z

Jørgensen PM; León-Yànez S, 1999. Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard, 75. i-viii, 1-1182.

Jørgensen PM; Nee MH; Beck SG, 2014. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de Bolivia. Monographs in systematic botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, 127:1-1744.

Kato H, 2007. Herbarium records of Makino Herbarium, Tokyo Metropolitan University.

MacKee HS, 1994. Catalogue of introduced and cultivated plants in New Caledonia. (Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie.) Paris, France: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, unpaginated.

McKay F; Oleiro M; Fourie A; Simelane D, 2010. Natural enemies of balloon vine Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Sapindaceae) in Argentina and their potential use as biological control agents in South Africa. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 30(2):67-76. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=JTI

McMullen CK, 1999. Flowering plants of the Galápagos. Ithaca, New York, USA: Comstock Publisher Assoc., 370 pp.

Mito T; Uesugi T, 2004. Invasive alien species in Japan: the status quo and the new regulation for prevention of their adverse effects. Global Environmental Research, 8(2):171-191.

Morales Quirós JF, 2015. Sapindaceae. Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden, 131:37-95. [Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Vol. VIII.]

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.

PIER, 2015. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

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

Ragupathy Subramanyam; Newmaster SG; Gopinadhan Paliyath; Newmaster CB, 2007. Exploring ethnobiological classifications for novel alternative medicine: a case study of Cardiospermum halicacabum L. ('Modakathon', balloon vine) as a traditional herb for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Ethnobotany, 19(1/2):1-16.

Rojo JP; Pitargue FC, 1999. Cardiospermum halicacabum L. In: Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(1): Medicinal and poisonous plants 1 [ed. by Padua, L. S. de \Bunyapraphatsara, N. \Lemmens, R. H. M. J.]. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher, 176-178.

Simelane DO; Fourie A; Mawela KV, 2011. Prospective agents for the biological control of Cardiospermum grandiflorum Sw. (Sapindaceae) in South Africa. African Entomology, 19(2):269-277. http://journals.sabinet.co.za/essa

Simelane DO; Mawela KV; Mc Kay F; Oleiro M, 2014. Field and laboratory studies to determine the suitability of Cissoanthonomus tuberculipennis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for release against Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Sapindaceae) in South Africa. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 24(7):734-750. http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cbst20

Somner GV; Ferrucci MS; Acevedo-Rodríguez P, 2015. Cardiospermum in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil (Cardiospermum in the list of species of the flora of Brazil). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB20884

Space J; Flynn T, 2002. Report to the Government of the Cook Islands on Invasive Plant Species of Environmental Concern. Honolulu, USA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, 146.

Space JC; Flynn T, 2001. Report to the Kingdom of Tonga on invasive plant species of environmental concern. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service.

Space JC; Waterhouse BM; Newfield M; Bull C, 2004. Report to the Government of Niue and the United Nations Development Programme: Invasive plant species on Niue following Cyclone Heta. 80 pp. [UNDP NIU/98/G31 - Niue Enabling Activity.] http://www.hear.org/pier/reports/niue_report_2004.htm

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

Urdampilleta JD; Coulleri JP; Ferrucci MS; Forni-Martins ER, 2013. Karyotype evolution and phylogenetic analyses in the genus Cardiospermum L. (Paullinieae, Sapindaceae). Plant Biology, 15(5):868-881. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1438-8677.2012.00679.x/full

USDA-ARS, 2015. 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, 2015. 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 edition. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press/Bishop Museum Press, 1919 pp.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.

Weeds of Australia, 2015. Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland Edition. http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/03030800-0b07-490a-8d04-0605030c0f01/media/Html/search.html?zoom_query=

Whistler WA, 1988. Checklist of the weed flora of Western Polynesia. An annotated list of the weed species of Samoa, Tonga, Niue, and Wallis and Futuna, along with the earliest dates of collection and the local names. Technical Paper, South Pacific Commission, No. 194:69 pp.

Contributors

Top of page

10/12/15 Original text by:

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

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map