Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Emilia sonchifolia
(red tasselflower)

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Datasheet

Emilia sonchifolia (red tasselflower)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Emilia sonchifolia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • red tasselflower
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Emilia sonchifolia is an annual herb believed to be native to China and South-East Asia. Since spreading from its natural range, E. sonchifolia now has a pan-tropical distribution and is naturalized el...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Flowering shoot of consumption weed (E. sonchifolia).
TitleFlowering shoot
CaptionFlowering shoot of consumption weed (E. sonchifolia).
Copyright©P.J. Terry/LARS
Flowering shoot of consumption weed (E. sonchifolia).
Flowering shootFlowering shoot of consumption weed (E. sonchifolia).©P.J. Terry/LARS

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC. ex DC.

Preferred Common Name

  • red tasselflower

Other Scientific Names

  • Cacalia sonchifolia Hort ex L.
  • Crassocephalum sonchifolium (L.) Less.
  • Emilia javanica (Burm.f.) C.B.Rob.
  • Emilia purpurea Cass.
  • Emilia rigidula DC.
  • Emilia sinica Miq.
  • Gynura ecalyculata DC.
  • Senecio sonchifolius (L.) Moench

International Common Names

  • English: consumption weed; cupid's paintbrush; cupid's shaving brush; Flora's paintbrush; lilac tasselflower; purple sow thistle; red groundsel; sow thistle
  • Spanish: borlitas; brochita; clavel chino; huye que te cojo; pincel de amor; pincelillo de poeta; yebra socialista
  • French: cacalie a feuilles de laiteron; émilie; herbe a lapin; manger lapin; salade a lapin
  • Chinese: yi dian hong
  • Portuguese: bela-emilia; serralha

Local Common Names

  • Bahamas: purple emilia
  • Brazil: brocha; falsa-serralha; pincel; serralha-mirim
  • El Salvador: molendera; rabanillo; rabano falso
  • Germany: purpur-quastenkoepfchen
  • Indonesia: djombang; dwaji rowo
  • Japan: usubeni-nigana
  • Lesser Antilles: goutte de sang rouge; rabbit meat; ti léton
  • Madagascar: tsiontsiona
  • Malawi: kalimwendo; mambenawo
  • Malaysia: ketumbit jantan; setumbak merah; tanbak-tambak merah; tetambak merah
  • Philippines: cetim; kipot-kipot; lamlampka; tagiulinau; yagod-no-kang kang
  • Puerto Rico: clavelito Colorado; clavelitos del cafetal
  • Vietnam: co chua le

EPPO code

  • EMISO (Emilia sonchifolia)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Emilia sonchifolia is an annual herb believed to be native to China and South-East Asia. Since spreading from its natural range, E. sonchifolia now has a pan-tropical distribution and is naturalized elsewhere in Asia, as well as in Australia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and the Americas. This species has been reported as a weed for a number of crops and has been shown to reduce yields and act as a reservoir for crop pathogens. Currently it is listed as invasive in India, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Costa Rica, the Galapagos, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Madeira, Réunion, Hawaii and on many other islands in the Pacific Ocean. Mechanical control has been shown to be effective, and chemical control has been effective in some annual and perennial crops.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Asterales
  •                         Family: Asteraceae
  •                             Genus: Emilia
  •                                 Species: Emilia sonchifolia

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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With 1,620 genera and more than 23,600 species, Asteraceae is one of the most diverse families of flowering plants (Stevens, 2019). Species within the Asteraceae are very variable in their growth form and habitat, but may be recognized by their “capitulate” and involucrate inflorescences in which numerous small flowers open first on the outside and are infrequently subtended by bracts. The anthers in this family are usually fused and form a tube through which the style extends before the two stigmatic lobes separate and become recurved. The rather small, single-seeded fruits usually have a plumose “pappus” and are frequently dispersed by wind (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; Stevens, 2019). The genus Emilia comprises approximately 100 species distributed mainly in tropical regions of the Old World (Pruski and Robinson, 2018).

Description

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Emilia sonchifolia is an erect to ascending, smooth or sparingly hairy, soft stemmed, slenderly branched annual herb, growing 20 to 70 cm tall with a branched taproot. The leaves are alternate. Those on the lower stem are deeply and irregularly toothed, being nearly round, kidney shaped, ovate, triangular-ovate or obovate, 4 to 16 cm long, 1 to 8 cm wide, with narrowly winged petioles. The upper, lanceolate leaves are sessile, with bases which encircle the stem. The inflorescence is terminal, usually dichotomously branched, flat-topped and composed of 3 to 6 stalked flower heads, each with a whorl of bracts beneath. Each urn-shaped flower head, a composite of numerous tubular florets which protrude by 1 mm above a single ring of outer green involucral bracts, is 12-14 mm long by 4-5 mm wide. There are 30-60 florets per head, the outer ones female and the inner ones with both stamens and stigmas. The flowers may be purple, scarlet, red, pink, orange, white or lilac. The fruit is an oblong dry indehiscent ribbed achene, 2.4-3 mm long, reddish brown or off-white with a pappus of white hairs up to 8 mm long.

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Seed propagated

Distribution

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The exact native range of E. sonchifolia is still uncertain (USDA-ARS, 2018). It is considered native to Asia (China, Southeast Asia) but it now has a pan-tropical distribution and can be found naturalized in Africa, North, Central and South America, the West Indies, Oceania and several islands across the Pacific and the Indian Ocean (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018; PROTA, 2018; USDA-ARS 2018).

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

AngolaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
Côte d'IvoirePresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Adams (1963)Naturalized
Equatorial GuineaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Adams (1963)Naturalized
GhanaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Adams (1963); Holm et al. (1997)Naturalized
GuineaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Adams (1963)Naturalized
KenyaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1997)Naturalized
MadagascarPresentIntroducedPROTA (2018); Holm et al. (1997)
MalawiPresentBanda and Morris (1985)
MauritiusPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1979)Naturalized
NigeriaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Adams (1963); Marks (1983)Naturalized
RéunionPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
SenegalPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Berhaut (1967)Naturalized
SeychellesPresentRobertson (1989)
Sierra LeonePresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Adams (1963)Naturalized
SudanPresentHolm et al. (1997)
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized

Asia

BangladeshPresentHolm et al. (1997)
BhutanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
BruneiPresentWaterhouse (1993)
CambodiaPresentGRIIS (2018); Waterhouse (1993)
ChinaPresentNativeWang (1990)
-AnhuiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-FujianPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-GuangdongPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-GuizhouPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-HainanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-HebeiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-HenanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-HubeiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-HunanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); China, Hunan Province College of Agriculture (1974)
-JiangsuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-ShaanxiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-SichuanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-YunnanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-ZhejiangPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
Hong KongPresentHolm et al. (1979)
IndiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveKhuroo et al. (2012); IRRI (1989); Holm et al. (1997); USDA-ARS (2018)
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-AssamPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012); Saha et al. (1982)
-Jammu and KashmirPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-KarnatakaPresentSastry et al. (1980)
-ManipurPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-MeghalayaPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012); Misra et al. (1995)
-MizoramPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-NagalandPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-SikkimPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-TripuraPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-UttarakhandPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
-West BengalPresentIntroducedInvasiveChandra (2012)
IndonesiaPresentWaterhouse (1993); IRRI (1989)
-JavaPresentHolm et al. (1997); UPHOF (1968)
JapanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
-HonshuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-KyushuPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
-Ryukyu IslandsPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
LaosPresentHolm et al. (1997)
MalaysiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); IRRI (1989); Waterhouse (1993); Holm et al. (1997)
MaldivesPresentIntroducedGRIIS (2018)
MyanmarPresentWaterhouse (1993)
NepalPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018)
PhilippinesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); Pancho et al. (1969); IRRI (1989); Waterhouse (1993)
SingaporePresentChong et al. (2009); Waterhouse (1993)
Sri LankaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); IRRI (1989)
TaiwanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1997)
ThailandPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); IRRI (1989); Waterhouse (1993); Holm et al. (1997)
VietnamPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); IRRI (1989); Waterhouse (1993); Holm et al. (1997)

Europe

Portugal
-MadeiraPresent, Only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedSilva (2002)Cultivated in gardens, appearing rarely outside

North America

AnguillaPresentFournet and Hammerton (1991)
Antigua and BarbudaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
BahamasPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
BarbadosPresentFournet and Hammerton (1991)
BelizePresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
British Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveRojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez (2015)
Costa RicaPresentIntroducedInvasiveChacón E and Saborío (2003); Holm et al. (1997)
CubaPresentIntroducedLabrada (2003); Rodríguez et al. (1991); Holm et al. (1997)Listed as a weed
DominicaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedInvasiveMinisterio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (2012); Holm et al. (1997)
GrenadaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
GuadeloupePresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
HaitiPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
HondurasPresentHolm et al. (1997)
JamaicaPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
MartiniquePresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
MexicoPresentIntroducedInvasiveVibrans (2019); Holm et al. (1997)
MontserratPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
Netherlands AntillesPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
NicaraguaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1997); CABI (Undated)Naturalized
PanamaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedInvasiveRojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez (2015); CABI (Undated)
Saint Kitts and NevisPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
Saint LuciaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
Saint MartinPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007)
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresent, WidespreadIntroducedBroome et al. (2007); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedInvasiveTrinidad and Tobago Biodiversity (2016); KASASIAN (1964); Fournet and Hammerton (1991)
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveRojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez (2015)
United StatesPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS (2018)
-FloridaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
-HawaiiPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHaselwood and Motter (1966); Holm et al. (1997); PIER (2018)
-LouisianaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2018)
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS (2018)
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-NRCS (2018)Naturalized

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Waterhouse (1997)
AustraliaPresentIntroducedGRIIS (2018); Holm et al. (1997)
-QueenslandPresentKleinschmidt and Johnson (1977)
Cook IslandsPresentMcCormack (2007)
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Lorence and Flynn (2010)
-ChuukPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
-PohnpeiPresentIntroducedInvasiveHerrera et al. (2010)
-YapPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasiveSmith (1991); Parham (1958); Waterhouse (1997)
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlorence et al. (2007); Remaudiere et al. (1977); Waterhouse (1997)
GuamPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
KiribatiPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)
NauruPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Holm et al. (1997); Waterhouse (1997)
NiuePresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Waterhouse (1997)
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasiveSpace et al. (2009)
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS (2018); Henty and Pritchard (1975); Holm et al. (1997); Waterhouse (1997)
SamoaPresentWaterhouse (1997)
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedPIER (2018); Holm et al. (1997); Waterhouse (1997)
TongaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Holm et al. (1997); Waterhouse (1997)
TuvaluPresentIntroducedGRIIS (2018)
U.S. Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
-Johnston AtollPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
VanuatuPresentIntroducedPIER (2018); Waterhouse (1997)
Wallis and FutunaPresentIntroducedPIER (2018)

South America

BoliviaPresentIntroducedGRIIS (2018); Gonzales and Webb (1989)
BrazilPresentIntroducedInvasiveLorenzi (2000); Holm et al. (1997)
-AlagoasPresentBorges and Teles (2015)
-AmazonasPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-BahiaPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-CearaPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Espirito SantoPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-GoiasPresentLorenzi (1982)
-MaranhaoPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Mato GrossoPresentLorenzi (1982)
-Minas GeraisPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-ParaPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-ParaibaPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-ParanaPresentLorenzi (1982)
-PernambucoPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-PiauiPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Rio de JaneiroPresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Rio Grande do NortePresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Rio Grande do SulPresentLorenzi (1982)
-Santa CatarinaPresentLorenzi (1982)
-Sao PauloPresent, WidespreadLorenzi (1982); Borges and Teles (2015)
-SergipePresentBorges and Teles (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
ColombiaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Hincapié C. et al. (1993); Holm et al. (1997)Naturalized
EcuadorPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1979)Naturalized
-Galapagos IslandsPresentCharles Darwin Foundation (2008)
French GuianaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
GuyanaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018)Naturalized
ParaguayPresentIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1997)
PeruPresentHolm et al. (1997)
SurinamePresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1997)Naturalized
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedNaturalizedUSDA-ARS (2018); Holm et al. (1997)Naturalized

History of Introduction and Spread

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In Puerto Rico, E. sonchifolia was first recorded in a herbarium collection made in 1881 (Rojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2015). On islands in the Pacific Ocean, it was apparently introduced early in the 20th century (Smith, 1991).

Habitat

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Growing at elevations ranging from sea level up to 3000 m, E. sonchifolia thrives under a wide range of environmental conditions across tropical and subtropical regions. It is a common weed in open grasslands, waste areas, roadsides, arable crops, pastures, forest edges, coastal thickets, weedy slopes, riverbanks and paddy ridges. It also grows in partially shaded areas beneath coffee, oil palm and tea plantations (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; Flora of China, 2018).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Cultivated / agricultural land 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
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Present, no further details Natural
Coastal areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Within and outside its natural distribution range, E. sonchifolia is a very common weed of field crops, and can be found in virtually any annual or perennial plantation crop.

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for E. sonchifolia is 2n=10 and 2n=20 (Xie et al., 2003; Flora of China, 2018).

Reproductive biology

The flowers of E. sonchifolia are hermaphrodites and are pollinated by insects (i.e. bees and flies) and by wind. This species is self-fertile (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; PFAF, 2018).

Physiology and phenology

In China, E. sonchifolia flowers from July to October (Flora of China, 2018). In Central America and Mexico, this species has been recorded flowering throughout the year (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; Vibrans, 2019). In the USA it produces flowers all year, but mostly from October to March (Flora of North America, 2018).

Longevity

Emilia sonchifolia is a fast-growing annual plant (Flora of China, 2018).

Activity patterns

As long as soil moisture is adequate, E. sonchifolia will germinate throughout the growing season in Nigeria (Holm et al., 1997) with plants completing their life cycle in about 90 days. Two types of seed may be distinguished by the colour of the achene. The female outer circle of florets of a flower head produce reddish-brown achenes while those from inner hermaphrodite florets are off-white (Marks and Akosim, 1984). A larger proportion of both types germinate at 27°C than at 30°C but only those which develop from outer florets germinate under deep shade. While low levels of germination (4%) will occur when seeds are buried as deep as 4 cm in the soil, plants will only emerge from seed near to the surface. Only 3% of seedlings germinating at a depth of 1 cm emerged in trials in Sri Lanka compared with 29% of those placed at 0.5 cm (Pemadasa and Kangatharalingam, 1977), suggesting that occasional deep tillage may be a useful control measure.

Environmental requirements

Emilia sonchifolia prefers to grow in moist tropical areas with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (but can tolerate 10-40°C) and mean annual rainfall of 1000-2000 mm. It prefers well-drained soils in a sunny position with a pH of 4.5-6.5. Plants are drought tolerant once established (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; Flora of China, 2018; PIER, 2018; Fern, 2019). It is particularly tolerant of acid conditions, and is an early colonizer of newly cleared peat soils in Malaysia (Wee, 1970).

Movement and Dispersal

Emilia sonchifolia spreads by seed. The fruit carries a pappus of capillary-like bristles that facilitates wind-dispersal. Seeds can be secondarily dispersed by water, as a contaminant in crop and pasture seeds, on soil and adhered to vehicles and agricultural machinery (Pruski and Robinson, 2018; Flora of China, 2018; Flora of North America, 2018; Fern, 2019).

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])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30 45

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 20 30
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 40
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 10

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall10002000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page None of the reported natural enemies cause sufficient damage to provide useful control. Most have been studied as pests of crops (see Economic Impact).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
DisturbanceWeed of disturbed sites Yes Flora of China, 2018
HorticultureSometimes planted as an ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2018
Medicinal useUsed in traditional Asian medicine Yes Yes Flora of China, 2018
People foragingLeaves eaten as a vegetable Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2018

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeed dispersal Yes Yes Fern, 2019
Machinery and equipmentSeed dispersal Yes Yes Fern, 2019
Land vehiclesSeed dispersal Yes Yes Fern, 2019
WaterSeed dispersal Yes Yes Fern, 2019
WindSeed dispersal Yes Yes Fern, 2019

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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Emilia sonchifolia has been reported as a weed of 29 crops but, although extremely common, Holm et al. (1997) do not consider it to be troublesome. However, they do report that the species as a serious or principal weed in some areas, for example in cassava in Brazil and India; cotton, maize and lowland rice in Brazil; oil palm and rubber in South East Asia; papaya, groundnut, sweet potato and tomato in Hawaii, USA; pineapple in Hawaii, USA and Malaysia; and taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Samoa. It has also been identified as one of the most problematic weeds in the cotton-producing areas of Nicaragua (Solis and de la Cruz, 1992). In other situations, E. sonchifolia is but one member of a diverse broadleaf flora. When uncontrolled, E. sonchifolia or Emilia coccinea can decrease the dry weight of lettuce and mustard cabbage (Brassica juncea) by 70 and 30% respectively (at 11 weeds per crop plant), while tomato fruit yield has been shown to be reduced by 18% by 80-120 weeds per plant. The more competitive, closely spaced crop of sweet corn was not affected by up to 150 weeds per crop plant (Floresca, 1976).

Emilia sonchifolia can be an alternative host, serving as a reservoir for crop pathogens. In Hawaii, USA, a wilt disease of pawpaw (Carica papaya), caused by Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is invariably associated with orchards which have numerous TSWV infected E. sonchifolia plants (Gonsalves and Truijillo, 1986). Other economically important pathogens for which E. sonchifolia is an alternative host are Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli [X. axonopodis pv. phaseoli], which causes bacterial infection of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) in Brazil and Cuba (Rodriguez et al., 1991Valarini and Spadotto, 1995), the yellow spot virus of pineapple [Tomato spotted wilt virus] (Frohlich and Rodewald, 1970), and the nematode Rotylenchulus reniformis, found in bananas in Cuba (Blanco et al., 1982). It is also a host of Liriomyza huidobrensis, an insect pest of onion (Allium cepa) in Colombia (Hincapie et al., 1993).

Environmental Impact

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Emilia sonchifolia also behaves as an environmental weed with the potential to displace native vegetation and alter successional processes. It has been reported invading forest edges, secondary forests, coastal thickets and natural grasslands. It has been listed as invasive in India, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Costa Rica, the Galapagos, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Madeira, Réunion, Hawaii, and on many other islands in the Pacific Ocean (Lorenzi, 2000Chacón and Saborío, 2003Chandra, 2012; Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, 2012Rojas-Sandoval and Acevedo-Rodríguez, 2015GRIIS, 2018PIER, 2018Vibrans, 2019).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Vigna o-wahuensis (Oahu cowpea)EN (IUCN red list: Endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiEcosystem change / habitat alteration; Pest and disease transmissionUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011

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
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Uses

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Emilia sonchifolia is sold in local markets across tropical Asia as food or for use in traditional medicine (Flora of China, 2018). The young leaves are used as a vegetable (Uphof, 1968; Martin and Ruberte, 1978), while the plants are considered of value medicinally in India and China (Duke and Ayensu, 1985). 

Uses List

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General

  • Ornamental

Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Emilia sonchifolia is most likely to be confused with Emilia coccinea, with which it can hybridize (Olorode and Olorunfemi, 1973). E. coccinea is also found in Brazil, the Caribbean, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, USA, Venezuela, Sri Lanka and much of West Africa (Adams, 1963; Holm et al., 1979; Fournet and Hammerton, 1991). In East and Central Africa both species occur in highland areas of Malawi (Banda and Morris, 1985), while E. coccinea is widespread throughout more humid areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Blundell, 1992), and is also present in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia (Bolnick, 1995).

E. coccinea may be distinguished by having about 8 involucral bracts, somewhat less than the 15 found in E. sonchifolia. E. coccinea is recognized by yellow flowered forms in West Africa and scarlet flowered forms in East/Central Africa, while those of E. sonchifolia are mauve or rarely white (Adams, 1963). However, flower colour in E. sonchifolia varies greatly around the world and particular care needs to be taken when considering this character.

Emilia sonchifolia looks similar to E fosbergii and E. coccinea. These species can be distinguished based on the following vegetative and floral traits (Pruski and Robinson, 2018):

Emilia sonchifolia: Basal and lower leaves lyrate-pinnatifid; involucres narrow-cylindrical, corollas included to only slightly exserted; corollas usually pink or lavender, lobes 0.5-0.8 mm; disc floret styles indistinctly appendiculate, appendages to 0.1 mm, no longer than broad, convex.

Emilia coccinea: Basal and lower leaves shortly petiolate; involucres broad-cylindrical to hemispherical, corollas moderately to well-exserted; corollas lobes 1.1-2.2 mm; disc floret styles obviously appendiculate, appendages 0.2-0.3 mm, caudate. Leaf margins nearly subentire; involucres campanulate, about as long as broad, corollas well-exserted; corollas bright orange to red, lobes 1.6-2.2 mm.

Emilia fosbergii: Basal and lower leaves shortly petiolate; involucres broad-cylindrical to hemispherical, corollas moderately to well-exserted. Leaf margins usually coarsely dentate; involucres broad-cylindrical, (1-) 2× as long as broad, corollas moderately exserted; corollas usually pale red or pinkish-red, lobes 1.1-1.6 mm

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.

Emilia sonchifolia is easily controlled mechanically, while selective chemical control can be achieved in some annual and perennial crops. A co-formulated mixture of pretilachlor and dimethametryn, a mixture of piperophos with propanil or oxadiazon alone, all applied at 5 days after sowing provided 8-12 weeks control in upland rice in Nigeria (Enyinnia, 1992). Pre-emergence applications of cyanazine, metribuzin or imazaquin, or post-emergence application of a mixture of bentazone, fomesafen and sethoxydim allow selective control in soyabean (Barros, 1989; Barros et al., 1992). Sethoxydim applied alone has not provided control in trials with either cotton or soyabean in Brazil (Beltrao et al., 1983; Barros et al., 1992). A number of options are available for residual control in plum orchards including glyphosate mixtures with diuron, simazine or terbacil, MSMA mixed with diuron, or paraquat mixed with simazine (Almeida et al., 1987). For Eucalyptus grandis, oxyfluorfen provides control of E. sonchifolia for up to 180 days following application (Silva et al., 1995). Atrazine provides excellent control in sugarcane in Hawaii (Olney, 1971).

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

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Banda AK, Morris B, 1985. Common Weeds of Malawi. Lilangwe, Malawi: University of Malawi

Barros AC de, Matos FSA, Netto CT, 1992. Evaluation of herbicides in the control of weeds in the soyabean crop. Planta Daninha, 10(1/2):45-49

Barros, A. C. de, 1989. Control of weeds, dicotyledons, using pre-emergence herbicides in soyabeans. (Controle de plantas daninhas, dicotiledóneas, através de herbicidas pré-emergentes na cultura da soja). In: Communicado Técnico - Empresa Goiana de Pesquisa Agropecuária , (No.16) . 8 pp.

Beltrao NE de M, Silva JF da, Silveira AJ da, Sedyama CS, Costa LM da, Oliva MA, 1983. Behaviour of upland type cotton (Gossypium hirsutum latifolium Hutch.) and weed control after using the herbicides diuron and sethoxydim. Planta Daninha, 6(1):58-71

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Broome, R., Sabir, K., Carrington, S., 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. In: Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database , Barbados: University of the West Indies.http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

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Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. In: Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation.unpaginated.

Chong, K. Y., Tan, H. T. W., Corlett, R. T., 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. https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

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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

Hincapie CMC, Saavedra H ME, Trochez PAL, 1993. Life cycle, behaviour and natural enemies of Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard) on bulb onion (Allium cepa L.). Revista Colombiana de Entomologia, 19(2):51-57

Holm L, Doll J, Holm E, Pancho J, Herberger J, 1997. World Weeds. Natural Histories and Distribution. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc

Holm LG, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, Plucknett DL, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, 391 pp

Hunan Province College of Agriculture, 1974. Weeds of crop fields. Peking, China: Agriculture Publishing House.290pp.

IRRI, 1989. Weeds Reported in Rice in South and South East Asia. Manila, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute

Kasasian L, 1964. Common Weeds of Trinidad. St Agustine, Trinidad: University of the West Indies

Khuroo, A. A., Reshi, Z. A., Malik, A. H., Weber, E., Rashid, I., Dar, G. H., 2012. Alien flora of India: taxonomic composition, invasion status and biogeographic affiliations. Biological Invasions, 14(1), 99-113. http://www.springerlink.com/content/0p0331853 lm77 gl6/ doi: 10.1007/s10530-011-9981-2

Kleinschmidt HE, Johnson RW, 1977. Weeds of Queensland. Queensland, Australia: Department of Primary Industries

Labrada R, 2003. Important Weed Species in Crops and Countries, Caribbean, Cuba. Data stored from 59 developing countries. Rome, Italy: FAO.

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

Lorenzi H, 1982. Weeds of Brazil, terrestrial and aquatic, parasitic, poisonous and medicinal. (Plantas daninhas de Brasil, terrestres, aquaticas, parasitas, toxicas e medicinais.) Nova Odessa, Brazil: H. Lorenzi, 425 pp

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Marks MK, 1983. Timing of seedling emergence and reproduction in some tropical dicotyledonous weeds. Weed Research, UK, 23(6):325-332

Marks MK, Akosim C, 1984. Achene dimorphism and germination in three composite weeds. Tropical Agriculture, 61(1):69-73

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Olorode O, Olorunfemi A, 1973. The hybrid origin of Emilia praetermissa Senecioneae: compositae. Annals of Botany, 37:185-191

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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

Adams CD, 1963. Compositae. In: Flora of West Tropical Africa, 2 (Second) [ed. by Hutchinson J, Dalziel JM, Hepper FN]. London, UK: Crown Agents.

Banda AK, Morris B, 1985. Common Weeds of Malawi., Lilangwe, Malawi: University of Malawi.

Berhaut J, 1967. (Flore du Senegal)., Dakar, Senegal: Editions Clairafrique.

Borges RAX, Teles AM, 2015. Emilia. In: Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB16105

Broome R, Sabir K, Carrington S, 2007. Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. In: Plants of the Eastern Caribbean. Online database. Barbados: University of the West Indies. http://ecflora.cavehill.uwi.edu/index.html

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Chacón E, Saborío G, 2003. (Lista De Especies De Plantas Introducidas En Costa Rica)., San Jose, Costa Rica: Asociación para la Conservación y el Estudio de la Biodiversidad (ACEBIO).

Chandra S K, 2012. Invasive alien plants of Indian Himalayan Region - diversity and implication. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 177-184.

Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. In: Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos, Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation. unpaginated.

China, Hunan Province College of Agriculture, 1974. Weeds of crop fields. In: Weeds of crop fields. Peking, China: Agriculture Publishing House. 290pp.

Chong K Y, Tan H T W, Corlett R T, 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. https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/app/uploads/2017/04/flora_of_singapore_tc.pdf

Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer J Y, 2007. Botanical database of the Nadeaud Herbarium of French Polynesia. (Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polinésie française (PAP).). In: Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polinésie française (PAP), http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf/Selection_Taxon_ref.php

Fournet J, Hammerton J L, 1991. Mauvaises Herbes des Petites Antilles. Paris, France: Département d'Économie et Sociologie Rurales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. 214 pp.

Gonzales GB, Webb ME, 1989. (Manual Para la Identificacion y Control de Malezas en el Area Integrada de Santa Cruz)., Santa Cruz, Bolivia: Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical.

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

Haselwood EL, Motter GG, 1966. Handbook of Hawaiian weeds., Hawaii, USA: Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association. 479 pp.

Henty E E, Pritchard G H, 1975. Weeds of New Guinea and their control. In: Weeds of New Guinea and their control. Lae, Papua New. Guinea: 180 pp.

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

Hincapié C M C, Saavedra H M E, Tróchez P A L, 1993. Life cycle, behaviour and natural enemies of Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard) on bulb onion (Allium cepa L.). (Ciclo de vida, habitos y enemigos naturales de Liriomyza huidobrensis (Blanchard) en cebolla de bulbo (Allium cepa L.).). Revista Colombiana de Entomología. 19 (2), 51-57.

Holm L, Doll J, Holm E, Pancho J, Herberger J, 1997. World Weeds. Natural Histories and Distribution., New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Holm L, Pancho J V, Herberger J P, Plucknett D L, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, Chichester (), Brisbane, Toronto, UK: John Wiley and Sons. xlix + 391 pp.

IRRI, 1989. Weeds Reported in Rice in South and South East Asia., Manila, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute.

KASASIAN L, 1964. Common weeds of Trinidad. St Augustine, Trinidad : Reg. Res. Centre, Univ. W. Indies. 82 pp.

Khuroo A A, Reshi Z A, Malik A H, Weber E, Rashid I, Dar G H, 2012. Alien flora of India: taxonomic composition, invasion status and biogeographic affiliations. Biological Invasions. 14 (1), 99-113. http://www.springerlink.com/content/0p0331853 lm77 gl6/ DOI:10.1007/s10530-011-9981-2

Kleinschmidt HE, Johnson RW, 1977. Weeds of Queensland., Brisbane, Australia: Department of Primary Industries.

Labrada R, 2003. Important Weed Species in Crops and Countries, Caribbean, Cuba. Data stored from 59 developing countries., Rome, Italy: FAO.

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

Lorenzi H, 1982. Plantas daninhas de Brasil, terrestres, aquaticas, parasitas, toxicas e medicinais. Nova Odessa, Brazil: H. Lorenzi. 425 pp.

Lorenzi H, 2000. Weeds of Brazil, terrestrial and aquatic, parasitic, poisonous and medicinal. (Plantas daninhas de Brasil, terrestres, aquaticas, parasitas, toxicas e medicinais)., Nova Odessa, Brazil: Plantarum Institute.

Marks M K, 1983. Timing of seedling emergence and reproduction in some tropical dicotyledonous weeds. Weed Research, UK. 23 (6), 325-332.

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

Contributors

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27/02/18 Updated by:

Dr. Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH (Rojas-SandovalJ@si.edu)

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