Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Derris elliptica
(tuba root)

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Datasheet

Derris elliptica (tuba root)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 12 May 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Derris elliptica
  • Preferred Common Name
  • tuba root
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Derris elliptica is a large and fast-growing climber that is cultivated primarily across tropical regions of the world for its roots, which are used as fish poison and as the source of the natural insecticide r...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Derris elliptica (tuba root);  invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA . February 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA . February 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root);  invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA . February 2014.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA . February 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit, engulfing a house. Nahiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit, engulfing a house. Nahiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit, engulfing a house. Nahiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2009.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit, engulfing a house. Nahiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. July 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); habit, climbing a metal pole. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); habit, climbing a metal pole. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); habit, climbing a metal pole. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); habit, climbing a metal pole. Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. August 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); invasive, smothering, habit. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); foliage with new, reddish, leaves. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
TitleFoliage
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); foliage with new, reddish, leaves. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); foliage with new, reddish, leaves. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.
FoliageDerris elliptica (tuba root); foliage with new, reddish, leaves. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. April 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); flower buds. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.
TitleFlower buds
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); flower buds. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); flower buds. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.
Flower budsDerris elliptica (tuba root); flower buds. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); flowers. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.
TitleFlowers
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); flowers. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); flowers. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.
FlowersDerris elliptica (tuba root); flowers. Hamana Pl Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. May 2014.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing leaves on small plants.  Simeulue, Indonesia. November 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing leaves on small plants. Simeulue, Indonesia. November 2008.
Copyright©Wibowo Djatmiko (Wie146)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing leaves on small plants.  Simeulue, Indonesia. November 2008.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing leaves on small plants. Simeulue, Indonesia. November 2008.©Wibowo Djatmiko (Wie146)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing a dense mass of tangled ‘lianas’. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January 1999.
TitleHabit
CaptionDerris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing a dense mass of tangled ‘lianas’. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January 1999.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Derris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing a dense mass of tangled ‘lianas’. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January 1999.
HabitDerris elliptica (tuba root); habit, showing a dense mass of tangled ‘lianas’. Hana Hwy, Maui, Hawaii, USA. January 1999.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Derris elliptica (Wall.) Benth.

Preferred Common Name

  • tuba root

Other Scientific Names

  • Cylista piscatoria Blanco
  • Deguelia elliptica (Benth.) Taub.
  • Galactia termimaliflora Blanco
  • Galedupa elliptica Roxb.
  • Millettia piscatoria Merr.
  • Millettia splendidissima S.Vidal
  • Paraderris elliptica (Wall.) Adema
  • Pongamia elliptica Wall.
  • Pongamia volubilis Zoll. & Moritzi

International Common Names

  • English: derris
  • Spanish: derris
  • Chinese: mao yu teng

Local Common Names

  • Brunei Darussalam: tuba
  • Cambodia: ca bia; k'biehs
  • Fiji: duva ni vavalagi; nduva ni vavalangi
  • Germany: Tubawurzel
  • Indonesia: oyod tungkul; tuba; tuwa leteng
  • Malaysia: akar tuba; tuba
  • Myanmar: hon
  • Netherlands: derriswortel
  • Philippines: tubli; tugling-pula; upei
  • Thailand: hang lai daeng; kalamphoh; lai nam

EPPO code

  • DRREL (Derris elliptica)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Derris elliptica is a large and fast-growing climber that is cultivated primarily across tropical regions of the world for its roots, which are used as fish poison and as the source of the natural insecticide rotenone. This species is adapted to a wide range of climates and soil types and spreads sexually by seed and vegetatively by stem fragments. It has successfully escaped from cultivation to become naturalized principally in disturbed areas and secondary forests. D. elliptica often behaves as an aggressive weed and, once established, climbs over other trees and shrubs forming a dense canopy that smothers vegetation, fences, forests, pastures, plantations and cultivated land. D. elliptica is now listed as invasive in Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Palau, Japan and Cuba.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Derris
  •                                     Species: Derris elliptica

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Derris is a problematic taxon within the tribe Millettieae, because of the various and dissimilar generic circumscriptions proposed by different authors. The genus Derris lacks distinct morphological characters, and its circumscription has been based on a combination of plesiomorphic characters (i.e., adnate wing and keel petals, monadelphous stamens and absent or annular floral discs). Only the liana habit and the two-winged pods are synapomorphies of Derris species. Currently, Derris comprises about 85 species found throughout the Old World tropics with species occurring in South-East Asia, Australia and Africa (Sirichamorn et al., 2012). The species Derris elliptica and D. malaccensis are often cultivated and many cultivated varieties have been selected (de Padua et al., 1999).

Previously, Paraderris was considered a different taxon, but it appears to be nested within Derris and, in order to maintain the monophyly of the genus, Paraderris is now synonymized with Derris (Sirichamorn et al., 2012; Sirichamorn et al., 2014).

Description

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Lianas, 7-10 m, robust. Young branchlets, leaf rachises, petioles, and petiolules densely brown pubescent. Branches glabrous when old, scattered with brown lenticels. Leaves 9-13-foliolate; rachis 20-35 cm, including petiole 4-8 cm; leaflet blades oblong, obovate-oblong, or oblanceolate, 6-15 × 2-4 cm, thickly papery, abaxially greenish white and finely brown sericeous, adaxially glabrous or only pubescent along veins, base cuneate to broadly cuneate, apex shortly obtusely acuminate. Pseudoracemes axillary, 15-25 cm, rachis densely pubescent; rachis nodes with 3 or 4 flowers fascicled on short branchlets; peduncle 8-12 cm or much longer, densely pubescent. Pedicel 6-8 mm, densely pubescent. Flowers ca. 2 cm. Calyx shallowly cup-shaped, ca. 4 × 6-7 mm, densely sericeous. Corolla pink to whitish, 1.5-1.8 cm; standard suborbicular, 1.2-1.5 cm wide, outside brown pubescent, apex emarginate. Ovary densely pubescent. Legume oblong, 3.5-8 × 1.7-2 cm, compressed, pubescent when young, glabrescent; abaxial suture with a ca. 0.5 mm wide wing, adaxial suture with a ca. 2 mm wide wing. Seeds 1-4 per legume (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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Derris elliptica is native to tropical Asia. It can be found cultivated and naturalized in Africa, tropical and temperate Asia, Central America, the West Indies, and the Pacific region (Orwa et al., 2009; ILDIS, 2013; GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2020).

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: 11 May 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
MauritiusPresentIntroducedILDIS (2013)
NigeriaPresentIntroducedPROTA (2018)
RéunionPresentIntroducedILDIS (2013)
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)

Asia

BangladeshPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
IndonesiaPresentNative and IntroducedILDIS (2013); USDA-ARS (2020)
-BorneoPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
-Irian JayaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
-Maluku IslandsPresentIntroducedPROSEA (2018)Cultivated
-SulawesiPresentIntroducedPROSEA (2018)Cultivated
-SumatraPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
CambodiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
ChinaPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)Cultivated
-GuangdongPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)Cultivated
-GuangxiPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)Cultivated
-HainanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)Cultivated
-YunnanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)Cultivated
IndiaPresentUSDA-ARS (2018)
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNative and IntroducedILDIS (2013); USDA-ARS (2018)
-AssamPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-MeghalayaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-OdishaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-PunjabPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-Tamil NaduPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-West BengalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
JapanPresentIntroducedInvasiveToyoda (2003)
-Bonin IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveToyoda (2003)
LaosPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
MalaysiaPresentNative and IntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
-SabahPresentIntroducedPROSEA (2018)Cultivated
-SarawakPresentIntroducedPROSEA (2018)Cultivated
MyanmarPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
NepalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
PhilippinesPresentNative and IntroducedOrwa et al. (2009); USDA-ARS (2020)
SingaporePresentIntroducedILDIS (2013)
Sri LankaPresentIntroducedILDIS (2013)
TaiwanPresentIntroducedFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)Cultivated
ThailandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
VietnamPresentNativeILDIS (2013)

North America

CubaPresentIntroducedInvasiveOviedo Prieto and González-Oliva (2015)
HondurasPresentIntroducedMolina R. (1975)
MartiniquePresentIntroducedILDIS (2013)
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)St. Croix
United StatesPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)Hawaii only
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)

Oceania

Christmas IslandPresentIntroducedILDIS (2013)
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
-ChuukPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
-KosraePresentPIER (2018)
-PohnpeiPresentIntroducedInvasiveHerrera et al. (2010)
-YapPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasiveSmith (1985)
GuamPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasiveSpace et al. (2003)
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
TongaPresentPIER (2018)

History of Introduction and Spread

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Until the 1960s Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were the main producers of Derris roots, exporting more than 3000 tons annually. Since the 1930s, several companies started cultivating Derris species (primarily D. elliptica and D. malaccensis) on a large scale in these countries to produce a plant-based pesticides for crops. After the 1960s, the introduction and promotion of synthetic insecticides reduced the demand for plant-based pesticides. However, currently there is a renewed interest in the use of Derris species as natural plant-based pesticides because of the health and ecological problems arising from repeated applications of synthetic chemical pesticides and the worldwide popularization of organic agriculture (de Padua et al., 1999; PROSEA, 2018).

In Hawaii, D. elliptica was first collected on O'ahu in 1950 and in Maui in 1974. On these islands this species is occasionally naturalized and has continued expanding (Starr et al., 2003).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of new introductions of D. elliptica is moderate to high. This species has successfully escaped from cultivation to become naturalized/invasive, particularly in insular ecosystems. Renewed interest in the use of Derris as natural plant-based pesticides, means it is highly probable that new introductions of this species may occur in the near future (de Padua et al., 1999; Starr et al., 2003; Orwa et al., 2009; PROSEA, 2018).

Habitat

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Derris elliptica prefers moist and very humid tropical areas. It can be found growing on riverbanks, in brushwood, secondary forest, roadsides, forest edges and forest plantations at low to middle elevations (~1500 m) (de Padua et al., 1999; Orwa et al., 2009).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural forests Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Notes On Crops/Other Plants Affected

Derris elliptica is listed as a weed in forest plantations of Acacia, Eucalyptus and Swietenia across tropical Asia (de Padua et al., 1999; Orwa et al., 2009).

Growth Stages

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

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for D. elliptica is 2n = 20, 22, 24, 36 (de Padua et al., 1999).

Physiology and Phenology

In China, D. elliptica has been recorded flowering from April to May and fruiting in June (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018). Plants may start flowering at 18 months of age. Pods ripen about 4 months after fertilization (de Padua et al., 1999). Apparently in cultivation fruiting is rare (Orwa et al., 2009).

Associations

Derris elliptica is a nitrogen-fixing species and forms nodules in association with Rhizobium bacteria (de Padua et al., 1999).

Environmental Requirements

Derris elliptica prefers very humid habitats with full sunlight or light shade with mean annual precipitation ranging from 1800 mm to 3500 mm (but tolerates 1400-5000 mm) and mean annual temperature within the range 24°C to 30°C (but can tolerate 20-36°C). However, it is able to survive dry periods of up to 4 months. This species is adapted to grow on many soil types from sandy to heavy clay with pH in the range 4.3-8.6. It is sensitive to waterlogging and does not tolerate frost (de Padua et al., 1999Orwa et al., 2009Fern, 2014PROSEA, 2018).

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])

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
25°N 25°S

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 24°C 30°C
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 36°C

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration4 monthsnumber of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall1400 mm3500 mmmm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Fungal diseases caused by Ustilago derrides and by Gloeosporium spp. have been reported damaging plantations of D. elliptica in tropical Asia (de Padua et al., 1999). Other fungi species such as Asterina spp., Colletotrichum derridis, Corticium salmonicolor, Diphragmium koodersii, Fomes lignosus, Hapalophragmium phaseoli, Phyllosticta derridis and Phyllachora yapensis have also been reported on Derris species. The beetle species Dinoderus bifoveolatus and D. minutus have been reported attacking the roots while Hedylepta indicata, Proteides mercurius, and Polygonus leo are insect pests which damage the leaves (Duke, 1981).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Derris elliptica spreads by seeds, and by stem fragments. In cultivation, it is often propagated by cuttings (de Padua et al., 1999; Orwa et al., 2009; Fern, 2014). Seeds and stem fragments float and may be dispersed by water (Kaua'i Invasive Species Committee, 2012).

Intentional Introduction

Derris elliptica has been intentionally introduced and moved long distances by humans who grow the plant for the commercial use of the roots to make the insecticide rotenone (de Padua et al., 1999Starr et al., 2003).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionCultivated for its roots Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
DisturbanceNaturalized in disturbed sites, along roadsides, forest edges Yes Yes De Padua et al., 1999
Escape from confinement or garden escapeSeed and stem fragments Yes Yes Starr et al., 2003
Intentional releaseIntroduced and cultivated for its roots Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Internet salesSeeds available online Yes Yes
Medicinal useUsed in traditional Asian medicine Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeed and stem fragments Yes Yes Starr et al., 2003
Floating vegetation and debrisSeed and stem fragments float on water Yes Yes Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee, 2012
MailSeeds available online Yes Yes
WaterSeed and stem fragments float on water Yes Yes Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee, 2012

Impact Summary

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

Economic Impact

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Derris elliptica is listed as a weed of forest plantations in tropical Asia. Negative impacts have been reported in Acacia, Eucalyptus and Swietenia plantations where this aggressive vine climbs over trees forming a thick cover that smothers vegetation (de Padua et al., 1999; Orwa et al., 2009).

Environmental Impact

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Derris elliptica can engulf native vegetation, climbing high into the forest canopy and shading-out native herbs, shrubs and trees in the understorey. It also smothers vegetation in fences, forest plantations, pastures, and arable lands. As a nitrogen-fixing species, D. elliptica has the potential to alter soil nutrients and biochemical soil cycles (de Padua et al., 1999; Starr et al., 2003; PIER, 2018).

In some regions across Southern Asia, the cultivation and use of D. elliptica as a fish poison has been prohibited by law as a conservation strategy to prevent fish from being eradicated by too intensive use of D. elliptica roots (de Padua et al., 1999).

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
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Host damage
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Derris elliptica has been cultivated as a traditional fish poison and insecticidal plant because of its rotenone content. Pounded or crushed roots are used for stupefying fishes, which can then be easily collected. For many years across Asia, extracts of the plant have also been used as hair-wash against lice and for arrow poison. D. elliptica is used in traditional Asian medicine in the treatment of leprosy and itch, as an antiseptic and also applied to abscesses. It is also used as an abortifacient and in Thailand the roots are used as an emmenagogue and the stems as a blood tonic (Duke, 1981; de Padua et al., 1999Orwa et al., 2009Fern, 2014Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018).

Uses List

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Materials

  • Pesticide

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

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.

Small infestations of D. elliptica can be pulled out by hand or with special machinery. There is no information available on biological or chemical control for this species (Starr et al., 2003).

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

Duke, J. A., 1981. Handbook of legumes of world economic importance, New York, USA; London, UK: Plenum Press.xi + 345pp.

Fern K, 2014. Useful Tropical Plants Database. http://tropical.theferns.info/

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018. Flora of China. In: 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

GRIIS, 2018. Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species. http://www.griis.org/

Herrera, K., Lorence, D. H., Flynn, T., Balick, M. J., 2010. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia with Local Names and Uses. Allertonia, 10, 1-192. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23193787

ILDIS, 2013. International Legume Database & Information Service. Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, Unversity of Reading.http://www.ildis.org/

Kaua'i Invasive Species Committee, 2012. Early detection species of concern on Kaua’i. Supplement to “A Field Guide to Early Detection of Invasive Plants and Animals on Kaua’i”, Supplement Volume 1. Kappa, Hawaii, USA: Kaua’i Invasive Species Committee.http://www.kauaiisc.org/wp-content/uploads/Field-Guide-Supp-Vol-1.pdf

Molina R., A., 1975. A list of the plants of Honduras. (Enumeracion de las plantas de Honduras). Ceiba, 19(1), 1-118.

Orwa, C., Mutua, A., Kindt, R., Jamnadass, R., Simons, A., 2009. Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide. Version 4. In: Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide. Version 4 . Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre.http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sites/treedbs/treedatabases.asp

Oviedo Prieto, R., González-Oliva, L., 2015. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2015. (Lista nacional de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2015). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 9(Special Issue No. 2), 1-88. http://repositorio.geotech.cu/jspui/bitstream/1234/1476/4/Lista%20nacional%20de%20plantas%20invasoras%20de%20Cuba-2015.pdf

Padua, L. S. de, Bunyapraphatsara, N., Lemmens, R. H. M. J., 1999. Plant Resources of South-East Asia, No. 12: Medicinal and poisonous plants 1, Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers.711 pp.

PIER, 2018. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii.http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

PROSEA, 2018. Plant Resources of South-East Asia. Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA Foundation.http://proseanet.org/prosea/e-prosea.php

PROTA, 2018. PROTA4U web database. In: PROTA4U web database Wageningen and Nairobi, Netherlands\Kenya: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.https://www.prota4u.org/database/

Sirichamorn, Y., Adema, F. A. C. B., Gravendeel, B., Welzen, P. C. van, 2012. Phylogeny of palaeotropic Derris-like taxa (Fabaceae) based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequences shows reorganization of (infra)generic classifications is needed. American Journal of Botany, 99(11), 1793-1808. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200390

Sirichamorn, Y., Adema, F. A. C. B., Roos, M. C., Welzen, P. C. van, 2014. Molecular and morphological phylogenetic reconstruction reveals a new generic delimitation of Asian Derris (Fabaceae): reinstatement of Solori and synonymisation of Paraderris with Derris. Taxon, 63(3), 522-538. doi: 10.12705/633.13

Smith, A. C., 1985. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Volume 3: Angiospermae: Dicotyledones, families 117-163, Lawai, Hawaii, USA: Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden.vi + 758 pp.

Space, J. C., Waterhouse, B. M., Miles, J. E., Tiobech, J., Rengulbai, K., 2003. Report to the Republic of Palau on invasive plant species of environmental concern. In: Report to the Republic of Palau on invasive plant species of environmental concern . Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.https://www.sprep.org/att/IRC/eCOPIES/Countries/Palau/11.pdf

Starr F, Starr K, Loope LL , 2003. New plant records from the Hawaiian Archipelago. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, 74, 23-34.

Toyoda, T, 2003. Flora of the Bonin Islands, Kamakura, Japan: Aboc-sha Press.

USDA-ARS, 2018. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

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

CABI, 2020. CABI Distribution Database: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2018. Flora of China. In: 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

Herrera K, Lorence D H, Flynn T, Balick M J, 2010. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia with Local Names and Uses. Allertonia. 1-192. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23193787

ILDIS, 2013. International Legume Database & Information Service., Reading, UK: School of Plant Sciences, Unversity of Reading. http://www.ildis.org/

Molina R A, 1975. A list of the plants of Honduras. (Enumeracion de las plantas de Honduras.). Ceiba. 19 (1), 1-118.

Orwa C, Mutua A, Kindt R, Jamnadass R, Simons A, 2009. Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide. Version 4. In: Agroforestree Database: a tree reference and selection guide. Version 4. Nairobi, Kenya: World Agroforestry Centre. http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sites/treedbs/treedatabases.asp

Oviedo Prieto R, González-Oliva L, 2015. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2015. (Lista nacional de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2015). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba. 9 (Special Issue No. 2), 1-88. http://repositorio.geotech.cu/jspui/bitstream/1234/1476/4/Lista%20nacional%20de%20plantas%20invasoras%20de%20Cuba-2015.pdf

PIER, 2018. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

PROSEA, 2018. Plant Resources of South-East Asia., Bogor, Indonesia: PROSEA Foundation. http://proseanet.org/prosea/e-prosea.php

PROTA, 2018. PROTA4U web database. In: PROTA4U web database. Wageningen and Nairobi, Netherlands\Kenya: Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. https://www.prota4u.org/database/

Smith A C, 1985. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Volume 3: Angiospermae: Dicotyledones, families 117-163. Lawai, Hawaii, USA: Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden. vi + 758 pp.

Space J C, Waterhouse B M, Miles J E, Tiobech J, Rengulbai K, 2003. Report to the Republic of Palau on invasive plant species of environmental concern. In: Report to the Republic of Palau on invasive plant species of environmental concern. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. https://www.sprep.org/att/IRC/eCOPIES/Countries/Palau/11.pdf

Toyoda T, 2003. Flora of the Bonin Islands. Kamakura, Japan: Aboc-sha Press.

USDA-ARS, 2018. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

USDA-ARS, 2020. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database, Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

Contributors

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29/05/2018 Original text by:

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

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