Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Ixora finlaysoniana
(white jungle flame)

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Datasheet

Ixora finlaysoniana (white jungle flame)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 20 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ixora finlaysoniana
  • Preferred Common Name
  • white jungle flame
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Ixora finlaysoniana is native to China, India and parts of Indochina. Across the tropics it is also commonly cultivated as an ornamental tree or shrub, mainly restricted to gardens and urban areas. It has the p...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Ixora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower.
TitleFlower
CaptionIxora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower.
Copyright©Mokkie/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ixora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower.
FlowerIxora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower.©Mokkie/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ixora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower. nr. Iritty, Kerala, south India. February 2013.
TitleFlowers
CaptionIxora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower. nr. Iritty, Kerala, south India. February 2013.
Copyright©V.R. Vinayaraj (vinayaraj)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ixora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower. nr. Iritty, Kerala, south India. February 2013.
FlowersIxora finlaysoniana (white ixora); flower. nr. Iritty, Kerala, south India. February 2013.©V.R. Vinayaraj (vinayaraj)/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ixora finlaysoniana Wall. ex G. Don

Preferred Common Name

  • white jungle flame

Other Scientific Names

  • Ixora findlayana B.S. Williams
  • Ixora merguensis var. parvifolia F.N. Williams

International Common Names

  • English: Finlayson’s ixora; riceflower; Siamese white ixora; white ixora
  • Spanish: bola de nieve; bouquet de novia; corona de reina; nevado
  • Chinese: bao ye long chuan hua
  • Portuguese: buque de noiva; ixora branca

Local Common Names

  • Colombia: coralillo blanco
  • Cuba: ixora; ixora de flor blanca
  • India: bonglong; longlapranpitheka; tudana
  • Puerto Rico: bella ixora
  • Thailand: khem phuang khao

Summary of Invasiveness

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Ixora finlaysoniana is native to China, India and parts of Indochina. Across the tropics it is also commonly cultivated as an ornamental tree or shrub, mainly restricted to gardens and urban areas. It has the potential to spread long distances through trade as an ornamental, however natural dispersal is thought to occur only over short distances. Currently, I. finlaysoniana is only reported as invasive in Cuba and no information is available regarding its impact there.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Gentianales
  •                         Family: Rubiaceae
  •                             Genus: Ixora
  •                                 Species: Ixora finlaysoniana

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The Rubiaceae family is one of the largest families of flowering plants, with over 13,000 species distributed worldwide (Davis et al., 2009). Ixora is the third largest genus in the family with about 500 species distributed in tropical and subtropical regions (Mouly et al., 2009). Ixora finlaysoniana was described in 1834 by G. Don as native to the East Indies. Mouly et al. (2009) included Ixora finlaysoniana in a molecular study of the genus and classified the species in section Chlamycanthus. Ixora finlaysoniana can be misidentified as the species I. thwaitesii Hook.f. (Axelrod, 2011). The name variant ‘findlaysoniana’ is considered invalid (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2017).

Description

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The following description is from Little et al. (1974), Teo et al. (2011) and the Flora of China Editorial Committee (2015):

I. finlaysoniana is a shrub or small tree that grows to between 4-6 m tall. The opposite leaves (5-17 (-20) x 3-6 (-9) cm) have entire blades with shapes that can include elliptic-oblong, elliptic, oblanceolate, obovate or oblong-lanceolate, with blunt apices and short petioles (3-1.3 mm). The petioles of young leaves are often reddish. Stipules usually persistent, which can be interpetiolar or usually united around the stem, 3-6 mm long, glabrous, with a broadly ovate to triangular shape and tip acute or aristate 0.3-3.5 mm long. The petioles of young leaves are often reddish. The inflorescences are erected, terminal arranged in corymbiform or dense cymose, puberulent, subsessile to pedunculate; peduncle up to 4.5 cm long, with branched portion 2.5-4 x 3-5 cm (without including corollas); bracts lanceolate, elliptic, or narrowly ligulate from 8-10 mm long and obtuse to acute shapes. Flowers sessile or subsessile, with calyx glabrous and hypanthium ellipsoid to subglobose (1-1.5 mm long). Corolla white and glabrous with a tube 20-30 mm long; limb with 4-5 deep lobes elliptic, narrowly elliptic or oblanceolate, 4-6 x 1.2-3 mm with acute to subacute shapes. There are 4-5 short stamens in the throat of corolla and a pistil with an inferior ovary with two carpels and a two-lobed stigma. Fruits are rounded or subglobose berries of about 6-1.3 cm in diameter, glabrous, often weakly didymous, with two seeds.

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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I. finlaysoniana is native to China, India, Thailand and the Philippines (Chamchumroon, 2006; Teo et al., 2011; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). It has been introduced and is widely cultivated throughout the tropics and is reported to be invasive in Cuba (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012).

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

NigeriaPresentIntroducedAfrican Plant Database (2017)Cultivated
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedMouly et al. (2009); African Plant Database (2017)Cultivated

Asia

ChinaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015)
-GuangdongPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015)
-HainanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015)
-YunnanPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015)
IndiaPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015); CABI (Undated)
-AssamPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015)
-KarnatakaPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: India Biodiversity Portal (2015)
-KeralaPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: India Biodiversity Portal (2015)
-Tamil NaduPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: India Biodiversity Portal (2015)
LaosPresentMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
PhilippinesPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015)
SingaporePresentIntroducedTeo et al. (2011)Casual
ThailandPresentNativeFlora of China Editorial Committee (2015); Chamchumroon (2006)
VietnamPresentMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)

North America

BelizePresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasiveOviedo Prieto et al. (2012)
El SalvadorPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
GuatemalaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
HondurasPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
MexicoPresentMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
PanamaPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
United StatesPresentIntroducedCABI (Undated a)
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedNeal (1965)

Oceania

AustraliaPresentIntroducedAustralian Plants Census (2011); Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (2017)
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedCABI (Undated)Recent introduction, not naturalized; Original citation: Cook Islands Biodiversity Database (2017)
FijiPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (2017)
TongaPresentIntroducedCouncil of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (2017)

South America

BrazilPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-AcrePresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-AmazonasPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-BahiaPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-CearaPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-MaranhaoPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-ParaPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-ParanaPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-PernambucoPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-PiauiPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-Santa CatarinaPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
-Sao PauloPresentIntroducedFlora do Brasil (2017)Cultivated
EcuadorPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)
PeruPresentIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden (2017)

Risk of Introduction

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I. finlaysoniana is a popular ornamental due to its showy white flowers and this has resulted in its deliberate introduction to new areas by humans (Little et al., 1974). Based on the apparent low natural dispersal of the species, it seems unlikely that plants will be introduced accidentally into new areas. The main potential pathway of introduction to new areas is the deliberate transportation of seeds and seedlings by humans.

Habitat

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Outside its native range, records of I. finlaysoniana seem to be restricted to urban areas and gardens.

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Natural forests Present, no further details Productive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Chloroplast and nuclear regions of I. finlaysoniana have been amplified and used in molecular studies to clarify the taxonomic placement of the genus, to test the monophyly of species and to study the biogeography and phylogenetic relationships within the genus (Bremer and Manen, 2000; Mouly et al., 2009; Banang, 2014; Janssens et al., 2016). The chloroplast regions include the genes rbcL and rps16, and the spacers atpB-rbcL, petB-petD and trnL-trnF, while the nuclear regions include the internal (ITS) and external (ETS) transcribed spacers. Three studies have reported a chromosome number of 11 for I. finlaysoniana (Bir et al., 1982; Bir et al., 1983; Bir et al., 1987; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2017).

Reproductive Biology

I. finlaysoniana has large terminal clusters (corymbs) of fragrant white flowers of about 5-10 cm in diameter. Data on breeding system and effective pollinators and seed dispersers are currently lacking.

Physiology and Phenology

In Thailand, I. finlaysoniana has been recorded flowering from January to April and fruiting from May to June (Chamchumroon, 2006). In Puerto Rico, the species has been recorded flowering throughout the year (Little et al., 1974).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
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)
23˚26’ 23˚26’

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Summer
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

While Teo et al. (2011) report that the dispersal agents of I. finlaysoniana are unknown, they speculate that the fruits (berries) might be disseminated by birds and small mammals. There are no records documenting the long-distance dispersal of the species.

Adult trees are commonly found with multiple plantlets surrounding the parental tree. Teo et al. (2011) claimed that these plantlets are the result of poor seed dispersal, resulting in their subsequent growth as seedlings below the paternal tree. However, these plantlets may originate from root suckers, as observed in both I. finlaysoniana and I. chinensis in Puerto Rico (M. Caraballo-Ortiz, Pennsylvania State University, personal observation, 2017). The apparent low recruitment beyond parental trees suggests that the species disperses only short distances.

Intentional Introduction

I. finlaysoniana has been deliberately introduced by humans for ornamental purposes (Little et al., 1974).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Ornamental purposes Yes Yes Little et al., 1974

Environmental Impact

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I. finlaysoniana has the potential to impact natural forested habitats due to the high density of plantlets (seedlings or root sucker plantlets) which are often found surrounding mature trees (Teo et al., 2011).

Impact: Biodiversity

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There are currently no scientific assessments available evaluating the potential impacts of I. finlaysoniana on local biodiversity. While the numerous plantlets associated with adult trees have the potential to encroach seedlings of native plants, there is still a lack of evidence to support this possibility.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Long lived
  • Gregarious
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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I. finlaysoniana is an ornamental species.

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Ornamental

  • Potted plant

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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I. finlaysoniana can be distinguished from most other cultivated species of the genus by its dense inflorescences of white flowers and its small, linear and foliaceous calyx lobes (Chamchumroon, 2006).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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There is a lack of information on the natural history of I. finlaysoniana, including breeding system, pollinators, seed dispersers and habitat/environmental requirements. Detailed studies on the potential impact of the plantlets observed below adult trees on surrounding vegetation are also recommended. Information on the dispersal capacity and ability of I. finlaysoniana to colonize new habitats would also be valuable.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany. 98. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution.1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

African Plant Database, 2017. African Plant Database. http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/

Australian Plants Census, 2011. Vascular Plants. https://biodiversity.org.au/nsl/services/APC

Axelrod FS, 2011. Fort Worth, Texas, USA: Botanical Research Institute of Texas Press.420 pp.

Banag C, 2014. Systematics of the Philippine endemic Ixora L. (Rubiaceae, Ixoreae). DPhil Thesis. Germany: University of Bayreuth.

Bir SS, Chatha GS, 1983. SOCGI plant chromosome number reports. Journal of Cytology and Genetics, 18, 56-58.

Bir SS, Chatha GS, 1987. Meiotic analysis of woody elements of south Indian Rubiaceae. Nucleus (Calcutta), 30, 114-124.

Bir SS, Gill BS, Bedi YS, 1982. Cytopalynological studies on some members of Bignoniaceae from India. Indian Journal of Botany, 5, 7-12.

Bremer B, Manen JF, 2000. Phylogeny and classification of the subfamily Rubioideae (Rubiaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 225, 43-72.

Chamchumroon V, 2006. A checklist of the genus Ixora L. (Rubiaceae) in Thailand. Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany), 34, 4-24.

Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, 2017. Cook Islands Biodiversity Database. http://cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2017. Australia's Virtual Herbarium. Australia: Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria.https://avh.chah.org.au/

Davis AP, Govaerts R, Bridson DM, Ruhsam M, Moat J, Brummit NA, 2009. A global assessment of distribution, diversity, endemism, and taxonomic effort in the Rubiaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 96, 68-78.

Flora do Brasil, 2017. Brazilian Flora 2020. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/

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/

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

Janssens, S. B., Groeninckx, I., Block, P. J. de, Verstraete, B., Smets, E. F., Dessein, S., 2016. Dispersing towards Madagascar: biogeography and evolution of the Madagascan endemics of the Spermacoceae tribe (Rubiaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 95, 58-66. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790315003279 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.10.024

Little EL Jr, Woodbury RO, Wadsworth FH, 1974. Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Vol. 2. Agriculture Handbook 449. Washington DC, USA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.1024 pp.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2017. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.http://www.tropicos.org/

Mouly, A., Razafimandimbison, S. G., Khodabandeh, A., Bremer, B., 2009. Phylogeny and classification of the species-rich pantropical showy genus Ixora (Rubiaceae-Ixoreae) with indications of geographical monophyletic units and hybrids. American Journal of Botany, 96(3), 686-706. http://www.amjbot.org/ doi: 10.3732/ajb.0800235

Neal MC, 1965. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Bishop Museum Press.924 pp.

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff MG, et al., 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1), 22-96.

Teo S, Chong KY, Chung YF, Kurukulasuriya BR, Tan HTW, 2011. Casual establishment of some cultivated urban plants in Singapore. Nature in Singapore, 4, 127-133.

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

African Plant Database, 2017. African Plant Database., http://www.ville-ge.ch/musinfo/bd/cjb/africa/

Australian Plants Census, 2011. Vascular Plants., https://biodiversity.org.au/nsl/services/APC

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

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

Chamchumroon V, 2006. A checklist of the genus Ixora L. (Rubiaceae) in Thailand. In: Thai Forest Bulletin (Botany), 34 4-24.

Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, 2017. Australia's virtual herbarium. In: Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Australia: Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria. http://avh.ala.org.au

Flora do Brasil, 2017. Brazilian flora 2020. In: Brazilian flora 2020. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden. http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br

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

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2017. Tropicos database. In: Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Mouly A, Razafimandimbison S G, Khodabandeh A, Bremer B, 2009. Phylogeny and classification of the species-rich pantropical showy genus Ixora (Rubiaceae-Ixoreae) with indications of geographical monophyletic units and hybrids. American Journal of Botany. 96 (3), 686-706. http://www.amjbot.org/ DOI:10.3732/ajb.0800235

Neal MC, 1965. Rubiaceae. In gardens of Hawaii. Special publication 50., Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: Bishop Museum Press. 924 pp.

Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff M G, et al, 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba. 6 (Special Issue No. 1), 22-96.

Teo S, Chong KY, Chung YF, Kurukulasuriya BR, Tan HTW, 2011. Casual establishment of some cultivated urban plants in Singapore. In: Nature in Singapore, 4 127-133.

Contributors

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26/05/17 Original text by:

Marcos A Caraballo-Ortiz, Biology Department, Pennsylvania State University, USA

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