Murdannia nudiflora (doveweed)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Rainfall Regime
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan
Preferred Common Name
Other Scientific Names
- Aneilema compressum Dalzell
- Aneilema diversifolium Hassk.
- Aneilema junghunianum Miq.
- Aneilema lancifolium Griff.
- Aneilema malabaricum (L.) Merr.
- Aneilema minutum (Blume) Kunth
- Aneilema nudicaule (Burm. f.) G. Don
- Aneilema nudiflorum (L.) Sweet
- Aneilema nudiflorum (L.) Wall
- Aneilema radicans D.Don
- Aneilema trichocoleum Schauer
- Callisia parvula Brandegee
- Commelina chinensis Osbeck
- Commelina minuta Blume
- Commelina nudicaulis Burm.f.
- Commelina nudiflora L.
- Commelina radicans (D.Don) Spreng.
- Commelina sellowii Schltdl.
- Cyanotis gueinzii Hassk.
- Ditelesia nudiflora (L.) Raf.
- Murdannia malabarica (L.) Brückn.
- Phaeneilema diversifolium (Hassk.) G.Brückn.
- Phaeneilema malabaricum (L.) V.Naray.
- Phaeneilema nudiflorum (L.) G.Brückn.
- Stickmannia guyanensis Raf.
- Stickmannia longicollis Raf.
- Tradescantia malabarica L.
International Common Names
- Spanish: anagalide azul (Mexico); cohitre; comelina; maclalillo
- French: herbe aux archons
- Chinese: luo hua shui zhu ye
Local Common Names
- Bangladesh: kundali
- Brazil: trapoeraba
- Colombia: pinita
- India: choti kankaua
- Indonesia: rumput lidah lembu; rumput tapak burung
- Malaysia: rumput kupu-kupu; rumput sur
- Mauritius: herbe aux archons
- Mexico: cohitre; comelina; maclalillo
- Philippines: alibangon; bangar na lalake; katkatauang; kohasi; kolasi; olikbangon
- Suriname: gadodede
- Thailand: kinkung noi; phak-prap
- Uganda: Mickey Mouse; vanda
- USA: nakedstem dewflower; spreading dayflower
- Venezuela: suelda con suelda
- Vietnam: loa-trai hoa-tran
- MUDNU (Murdannia nudiflora)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
M. nudiflora is classified as one of the world's worst weeds by Holm et al. (1977), infesting no less than 16 crops in 23 countries. It is a major weed species in rice and other crops (Moody, 1989), and is a moderately invasive weed species both in agricultural crops and non-agricultural areas in South and South-east Asia (Waterhouse, 1993). Its special ability to root easily at the nodes, propagating clonally through cut stems and dispersal during tillage and land preparation make this weed difficult to control. This trait coupled with its ability to adapt and survive a wide ecological window of soil types, pH, moisture availability and soil drainage makes M. nudiflora a weed to watch for potential spread into new areas in near future, and a species under the 'alert list' by the Invasive Species Specialist Group. Oliveira Pellegrini et al. (2016) recognize M. nudiflora as one of two Murdannia species invasive in the Neotropics.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Commelinales
- Family: Commelinaceae
- Genus: Murdannia
- Species: Murdannia nudiflora
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
Commelinaceae is a family of herbaceous monocots with approximately 40 genera and 650 species (Stevens, 2012). Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan is one of the 53 species comprising the genus Murdannia. Several Murdannia species were previously included in the genus Commelina before being transferred. Murdannia species can be identified from other genera in Commelinaceae by their three-lobed or spear-shaped antherodes (Faden, 1998).
Commelina nudiflora L. is correctly a synonym of M. nudiflora. Commelina nudiflora auct. non L. (and C. communis) have occasionally been used as synonyms of Commelina diffusa Burm. f., but these names have been used by different authors for more than one taxon and are incorrect when applied to C. diffusa.
DescriptionTop of page
M. nudiflora is an annual or perennial herb, 8-115 cm tall, with a basal leaf rosette, disappearing or absent in older plants, with one to several creeping leafy branches, being either erect, semi-erect, ascendant, or at the base. Leaves are alternately arranged, sessile, larger ones linear-lanceolate, smaller ones oblong-ovate, glabrous, or with sparsely-arranged trichomes or hairs, 1.7-28 or 1.7-45 cm x 5-25 mm, with a broad leaf base, acute apex, short leaf sheath, and villous. Roots are normal, not swollen. Inflorescences terminally- or axillary-arranged, either unbranched or with 2-3 branches, no large cucullate bracts; bracts 25-35 mm oblong-cucullate, rather thin, membranous, caducous, located at the base of 25-40 mm long, glabrous pedicels, sepals 3, green, oblong, obtuse, glabrous, 3.5-5.0 mm long, petals 3, oblong to ovate-oblong, obtuse, purplish to magenta in colour, 4.5-5.5 mm long. Stamens free, 2 fertile with densely long-hairy filaments and bluish-coloured anthers; staminoids 4, with long-bearded filaments, the 3 opposite the petals with thickened, 3-lobed, light yellow coloured top, the fourth much reduced in size. The ovary is glabrous. Fruits condensed, ellipsoid-globose, shortly acuminate, glabrous, 4-6 mm in diameter, 3-loculate, each cell with 1-2 seeds, rarely with more than 6 seeds per fruit. Seeds smooth to coarse reticulate, ribbed.
Plant TypeTop of page Annual
DistributionTop of page
M. nudiflora is native to tropical and subtropical Asia, from China to India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines (Govaerts, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017). It has now spread to other tropical and sub-tropical parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania, Central, North and South America, and the West Indies, where it is invading both the agricultural and non-agricultural areas (Holm et al., 1977; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012; Govaerts, 2017; USDA-NRCS, 2017; PIER, 2017; USDA-ARS, 2017). In the New World it is found between the southeastern USA and Argentina (Oliveira Pellegrini et al., 2016).
While USDA-ARS (2017) lists M. nudiflora as native in Japan, Nakamura (2015) suggests that it is a new record for Japan when found newly naturalized in northern Kyushu.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Bangladesh||Present||Native||Holm et al., 1977; Galinato et al., 1999; Karim, 2003|
|Bhutan||Present||Native||Not invasive||Noltie, 1994|
|Brunei Darussalam||Present||Introduced||Waterhouse, 1993|
|China||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Anhui||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Fujian||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Guangdong||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Guangxi||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Henan||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Hunan||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Jiangsu||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Jiangxi||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Shandong||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Sichuan||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|-Yunnan||Present||Native||Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017|
|India||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Andhra Pradesh||Present||Native||Govaerts, 2017|
|-Assam||Present||Nilendu et al., 2004|
|-Bihar||Present||Native||Holm et al., 1977; Satpathi, 1999|
|-Himachal Pradesh||Present||Native||Govaerts, 2017|
|-Uttar Pradesh||Present||Not invasive||Pandey and Shukla, 2001|
|-West Bengal||Present||Native||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Satpathi, 1999|
|-Irian Jaya||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987; Waterhouse, 1993; Galinato et al., 1999|
|-Java||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Soerdasan et al., 1974; Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987; Waterhouse, 1993; Galinato et al., 1999; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|-Kalimantan||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987; Waterhouse, 1993; Galinato et al., 1999|
|-Nusa Tenggara||Present||Native||USDA-ARS, 2017|
|-Sumatra||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987; Waterhouse, 1993|
|Japan||Present||Introduced||2014||Nakamura, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2017||Shinaikawa, Kurume-shi, Fukuoka Pref., northern Kyushu|
|-Kyushu||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|-Peninsular Malaysia||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Baki and Khir, 1991; Waterhouse, 1993; Baki et al., 1997|
|-Sabah||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Waterhouse, 1993|
|-Sarawak||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Waterhouse, 1993|
|Myanmar||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Waterhouse, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|Nepal||Present||Dangol, 2001; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|Pakistan||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Waterhouse, 1993; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|Philippines||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Moody, 1989; Waterhouse, 1993; Pancho and Obien, 1995; Govaerts, 2017|
|Sri Lanka||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Moody, 1989; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|Taiwan||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Thailand||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Moody, 1989; Galinato et al., 1999; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|Vietnam||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Moody, 1989; Galinato et al., 1999; USDA-ARS, 2017|
|Angola||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Benin||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Burkina Faso||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Burundi||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Cameroon||Widespread||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Congo||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Congo Democratic Republic||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Gambia||Absent, formerly present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Ghana||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Guinea||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Guinea-Bissau||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Kenya||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Mauritius||Present||Introduced||Holm et al., 1977|
|Nigeria||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Brennan, 1968|
|South Africa||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Introduced||Govaerts, 2017|
|Tanzania||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Uganda||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Mexico||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Baker and Zettler, 1988|
|USA||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Florida||Present||Introduced||Holm et al., 1977; Baker and Zettler, 1988; USDA-NRCS, 2017|
|-North Carolina||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2017|
|-South Carolina||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2017|
Central America and Caribbean
|Costa Rica||Present||Introduced||Rojas et al., 2002|
|Cuba||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012|
|Dominican Republic||Present||Introduced||Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012|
|El Salvador||Present||Introduced||Govaerts, 2017||Naturalized|
|Haiti||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Introduced||USDA-NRCS, 2002|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Brazil||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Acre||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Alagoas||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Amazonas||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Bahia||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Ceara||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Goias||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Maranhao||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Mato Grosso||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Mato Grosso do Sul||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Minas Gerais||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Para||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Paraiba||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Parana||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Rio Grande do Sul||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Santa Catarina||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|-Tocantins||Present||Introduced||Aona and Pellegrini, 2015|
|Colombia||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Bastidas-Lopez, 1996; Holm et al., 1977; Plaza and Forero, 1998|
|French Guiana||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Guyana||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Suriname||Present||Introduced||Holm et al., 1977|
|Venezuela||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Czechoslovakia (former)||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Baker and Zettler, 1988|
|Portugal||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Govaerts, 2017||Madeira|
|Spain||Restricted distribution||Introduced||Govaerts, 2017||Canary Islands|
|American Samoa||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER, 2017|
|Australia||Present||Introduced||Atlas of Living Australia, 2017||Naturalized|
|-Australian Northern Territory||Present||Introduced||Atlas of Living Australia, 2017||Naturalized|
|-Queensland||Present||Introduced||Atlas of Living Australia, 2017||Naturalized|
|-Western Australia||Present||Introduced||Atlas of Living Australia, 2017||Naturalized|
|Cook Islands||Present||Introduced||Govaerts, 2017|
|Fiji||Widespread||Introduced||Invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Micronesia, Federated states of||Present||Native||PIER, 2017|
|New Caledonia||Present||Introduced||Not invasive||Holm et al., 1977|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER, 2017|
|Solomon Islands||Present||Native||PIER, 2017|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
The relatively free or unrestricted movement of plants or plant parts within each country in Asia, Africa or Latin America makes it possible that both seeds and vegetative parts of M. nudiflora can be transported or dispersed to different parts of those countries where the weed is prevalent, unhindered, principally through its use as animal fodder. Sharing of agricultural implements, especially those tillage and harvesting implements among farmers either through the hire-for-service by private individuals or cooperatives may also help to disperse the propagules from one locality to another.
HabitatTop of page
M. nudiflora can be found naturalized across the tropics and subtropics on derelict or abandoned land, roadsides, and often in moist, waterlogged places being almost sub-aquatic, along the banks of irrigation canals, ditches and dikes, in rice paddies and in other lowland crops, field borders and wet pasturelands. In Brazil, it is found in disturbed vegetation, roadsides and near rice crops (Oliveira Pellegrini et al., 2016). In temperate regions, it is widespread in moist, often waterlogged, arable and non-arable lands in open places (Atkinson, 2017; PIER, 2017). Within its native distribution range, M. nudiflora also grows as a weed on wet and waterlogged places, grasslands, and damp prairies at elevations up to 1500 m (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017; India Biodiversity Portal, 2017).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Disturbed areas||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Rail / roadsides||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Urban / peri-urban areas||Present, no further details|
|Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-natural||Natural grasslands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Riverbanks||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Wetlands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Irrigation channels||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
M. nudiflora is a principal weed of peanuts, lowland and upland rice, tea, and maize in Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka (Soerdarsan et al., 1974; Baki and Md Khir, 1983; Soerjani et al., 1987; Pancho and Obien, 1995). It is a weed of rice in the eastern plains of Colombia (Bastidas-Lopez, 1996; Plaza and Forero, 1998), bananas, citrus, sugarcane, vegetables, rice, maize and coffee in Mexico (Holm et al., 1977), pineapples in Hawaii, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines (Holm et al., 1977; Pancho and Obien, 1995; Baki et al., 1997), and taro in Fiji and Hawaii (Holm et al., 1977). Galinato et al. (1999) reported widespread occurrence of the weed in teak, tea, oil palm, chincona, cotton and coffee plantations, and in arable lands. In the United States, it has historically been a problematic weed in turfgrass systems, but it has become increasingly more common in North Carolina in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and soyabean (Glycine max) plantations (Wilson et al., 2006).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page Flowering stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The chromosome number reported for M. nudiflora is 2n = 20 (Renugadevi and Sampathkumar, 1986).
Physiology and Phenology
Flowers open only for a few hours, and then wilt. The weed produces 500-2,200 seeds per plant, and there are 1,000 seeds/g. In India, it has been recorded flowering and fruiting from September to November (India Biodiversity Portal, 2017). In China, its flowers and set fruits from June to October (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2017). In Central America, flowers and fruits are produced from July to January (Davidse et al., 1994).
Although M. nudiflora reproduces through seed and vegetative propagation, the time- and environment-mediated loss of seed viability limits population increase by sexual means. Flowers open only for a few hours, and then wilt. An unpublished study recorded that a single plant of M. nudiflora produced less than 100 seeds per plant in 3.5 months of its growth cycle (M Azmi, MARDI Food and Industrial Crops Research Centre, Penang, Malaysia, personal communication, 2003).
Arguably, the species has to rely on vegetative propagation to ensure a continuous population increase, and there is a need to obtain essential plant resources through roots produced at the stolon nodes. Seeds and stolon parts are dispersed principally via wind and water, and through human activities such as agriculture. The weed is hydrochorous: the mode of propagation and dispersal is through seeds and stolon fragments. The plant roots easily at the nodes of the creeping stolons, and will do so when cut or broken, especially during cultivation and tillage operations. In fact these stem cuttings may survive for several days to several weeks on the soil surface before eventually taking root, notably under moist or waterlogged conditions.
In tropical and subtropical areas, M. nudiflora is mostly a perennial plant, whereas it becomes an annual in temperate regions (Atkinson, 2014). Under suitable condition (e.g. high humidity or irrigation), it behaves as a fast-growing herb (Atkinson, 2014).
Less than 60% of the seeds produced remained viable after 6 months under ambient temperature of 23°C (night) and 35°C (day). Seed viability was less than 15% when buried in moist paddy soil for 6 months, underlying high percentages of seed decay when exposed to the soil environment. No seeds were viable a year after production, irrespective of whether they were exposed to the soil environment or kept under the ambient temperature stated above (M Azmi, MARDI Food and Industrial Crops Research Centre, Penang, Malaysia, personal communication, 2003). Greenhouse and laboratory experiments have showed that germination in this species was higher at alternating day/night temperatures of 35/25°C (95%) than at 30/20°C (72%), and no germination occurred at 25/15°C. Light strongly influenced germination (95%) and dark completely inhibited germination (Wilson et al., 2006; Ahmed et al., 2015).
M. nudiflora prevails under a wide range of environmental conditions with varying soil types, pH, moisture conditions, nutrient status, high light exposure or shade, and competition with crops and other plants. These crops include rubber, oil palm, cocoa, coffee and groundnuts, which are generally planted in well-drained soils, in either lowland or higher altitudes, and the weed occurs under varying degrees of shade. In non-crop situations, the weed can tolerate soil pH ranging from <4.0 (peat soil) (Masayu, 1995; Baki et al., 1997) to >7.0 (calcareous soils). In rice or on the banks of irrigation canals and drains, rivers, etc., populations of M. nudiflora prevail under wet or waterlogged conditions where soil pH is often low (acidic). It appears tolerant to a wide range of conditions, either in open situations or in rather deeply shaded sites, and at low altitude or at altitudes of 1800 m or higher.
M. nudiflora as a component of weed flora, together with other weed species prevailing on arable peat, and lowland irrigated and non-irrigated rice in Malaysia (Baki et al., 1997), displayed an aggregated pattern of spatial distribution based on Lloyd's mean crowding, Lloyd's patchiness or variance-to-mean ratio dispersion indices. Negative associations were observed between Boerhavia diffusa and several weed species, one of which was M. nudiflora in highly disturbed sites in Uttar Pradesh, India (Pandey and Shukla, 2001).
Latitude/Altitude RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||5|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||10||33|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||33||38|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||8||12|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Mean annual rainfall||275||2500||mm; lower/upper limits|
Rainfall RegimeTop of page Bimodal
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
- very acid
Special soil tolerances
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Bastidas-Lopez (1996) cited the prevalence of phytophagous insects as natural enemies on weeds, including M. nudiflora, in the eastern plain of Colombia. M. nudiflora is also a host of nematodes such as Pratylenchus pratensis and Meloidogyne arenaria (Valdez, 1968), the fungus Pythium arrhenomanes (Sideris, 1931), and the viruses Cucumber mosaic virus (Anon, 1960), Southern celery mosaic virus (King, 1966), Tomato mosaic virus and Clover yellow-vein virus (Baker and Zettler, 1988). M. nudiflora is an ovipositional host of the plant hopper Nisia carolinensis that is common in rice field habitats, and is a host of the hairy caterpillar Diacrisia obliquais also noted as feeding on aerial parts of the plant, mostly leaves and stems, in West Bengal, India but is not specific to this genus (Satpathi, 1999). The weed is also a host to rice sheath blight caused by Rhizoctonia solani [Thanatephorus cucumeris] (Galinato et al., 1999).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
M. nudiflora spreads by seeds and vegetatively by stolon or stem fragments (Atkinson, 2014).
Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
Floods and running water or wind can help to disperse seeds, and water may be an important means for dispersal of vegetative propagules, notably the stolons and other plant parts of M. nudiflora.
Vector Transmission (Biotic)
Animal grazing and/or trampling can produce many stolon fragments which can root easily at the nodes, given enough moisture and the availability of safe sites (sensu Harper, 1977), leading to the production of numerous viable propagules. M. nudiflora is used as fodder for animals and as a food and medicine by man (Burkill, 1935; Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987) and vegetative parts of the weed easily are thus dispersed or moved from place to place by both man and animals. It is not known whether seeds are dispersed through faecal droppings of animals or by other means.
It is possible that the weed can be dispersed during tillage or land preparation or harvests through tillage and harvesting implements. This is especially so for the stem cuttings produced through trampling or land preparation by draught animals or tillage and harvesting implements.
Grain and seed imports may bring in seeds of M. nudiflora as impurities when the weed is prevalent in areas where the original grain or seed were harvested (SS Sastroutomo, CABI-SEARC, Malaysia, personal communication, 2003).
No records of intentional introduction of M. nudiflora have been found.
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
Impact SummaryTop of page
ImpactTop of page It is a principal weed, reducing economic yields of peanuts, lowland and upland rice, tea, and maize, in Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka (Soerdarsan et al., 1974; Baki and Md Khir, 1983; Soerjani et al., 1987; Pancho and Obien, 1995). Plant growth and height of rice is reduced in rice in the Eastern Plains of Colombia (Bastidas-Lopez, 1996; Plaza and Forero, 1998). The weed has negative effects on bananas, citrus, sugarcane, vegetables, rice and coffee in Mexico (Holm et al., 1977); pineapples in Hawaii, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines (Holm et al., 1977; Pancho and Obien, 1995; Baki et al., 1997) and taro in Fiji and Hawaii (Holm et al., 1977).
The weed is also a host of various crop pests and pathogens which have effects on crop growth and production. These include Pratylenchus pratensis and Meloidogyne arenaria (Valdez, 1968), Pythium arrhenomanes (Sideris, 1931), cucumber mosaic virus (Anon, 1960), southern celery mosaic virus (King, 1966), tomato mosaic virus, and clover yellow vein virus (Baker and Zettler, 1988).
Economic ImpactTop of page
M. nudiflora is a principal weed, reducing economic yields of groundnuts, lowland and upland rice, tea, and maize, in Indonesia, Philippines and Sri Lanka (Soerdarsan et al., 1974; Baki and Md Khir, 1983; Soerjani et al., 1987; Pancho and Obien, 1995). Plant growth and height of rice is reduced in rice in the Eastern Plains of Colombia (Bastidas-Lopez, 1996; Plaza and Forero, 1998). The weed has negative effects on bananas, citrus, sugarcane, vegetables, rice and coffee in Mexico (Holm et al., 1977); pineapples in Hawaii, Indonesia, South Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines (Holm et al., 1977; Pancho and Obien, 1995; Baki et al., 1997) and taro in Fiji and Hawaii (Holm et al., 1977). In the United States, it has historically been a problematic weed in turfgrass systems and residential lawns, but it has become increasingly more common in North Carolina in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and soybean (Glycine max) plantations (Wilson et al., 2006; Len and Unruh, 2015).
The weed is also a host of various crop pests and pathogens which have effects on crop growth and production. These include Pratylenchus pratensis and Meloidogyne arenaria (Valdez, 1968), Pythium arrhenomanes (Sideris, 1931), cucumber mosaic virus (Anon, 1960), southern celery mosaic virus (King, 1966), tomato mosaic virus, and clover yellow vein virus (Baker and Zettler, 1988).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
M. nudiflora is an aggressive weed that grows forming dense, pure stands, which smother all other plant species, including native species. It can grow rapidly over desirable species outcompeting them for light and nutrients (Holm et al., 1977; Atkinson, 2014).
M. nudiflora invades open spaces in both agricultural and non-agricultural land. Serious competition and replacement of native species by M. nudiflora has been recorded in Singapore, Hawaii, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States (Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; PIER, 2017; USDA-NRCS, 2017). Pandey and Shukla (2001) cited negative associations between M. nudiflora and Boerhavia diffusa in low, moderately, and highly disturbed grasslands in north east Uttar Pradesh, India.
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page Being a moderately invasive species, M. nudiflora invades open spaces in both agricultural and non-agricultural lands. Serious competition and replacement of endemic species in parks and protected areas by M. nudiflora have not been recorded to date. Pandey and Shukla (2001) cited negative associations between M. nudiflora and Boerhavia diffusa in low, moderately, and highly disturbed grasslands in north east Uttar Pradesh, India.
Social ImpactTop of page
M. nudiflora is prevalent as a principal weed in rice, coffee, maize, tea, and a host of other economic crops, reducing crop growth and yields: weeding operations are thus an important and necessary post-planting activity among farmers. Weeding of course reduces the time otherwise available for other social or economic activities for farmers. It is also an aggressive weed in residential lawns (Leon and Unruh, 2015).
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Invasiveness
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Has a broad native range
- Abundant in its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Is a habitat generalist
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Pioneering in disturbed areas
- Highly mobile locally
- Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
- Long lived
- Fast growing
- Reproduces asexually
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Modification of hydrology
- Modification of nutrient regime
- Monoculture formation
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Reduced amenity values
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - smothering
- Pest and disease transmission
- Rapid growth
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
M. nudiflora is used as fodder for animals in several countries, but Holm et al. (1977) considered that the high moisture content meant that it was not of much forage value. It is eaten as a vegetable during famine in India, considered as a palatable vegetable elsewhere and leaves are used as poultice in Indonesia (Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
M. nudiflora is similar to Murdannia spirata (L.) G. Brückn., although the latter species has very shortly pedunculate inflorescences, persistent floral bracts, 3 fertile stamens, and non-congested fruits with more than 6 seeds per fruit (Soerjani et al., 1987). Occasionally M. nudiflora is mistakenly identified as Commelina diffusa (Everaarts, 1981), despite quite distinct morphological differences between them, the former with narrow leaf blades and yellowish petals in the flowers as opposed to wide size leaf blades, and bright blue petals in the latter species. M. nudiflora was treated together with the closely-related species Commelina benghalensis and C. diffusa by Holm et al. (1977) though easily separated morphologically.
Oliveira Pellegrini et al. (2016) say that M. nudiflora can be easily identified by its "caduceus bracteoles, single terminal cincinni, two fertile stamens and four staminodes, and capsules with 2-seeded locules".
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Burning of straw, stubble and weeds after harvesting rice, maize or vegetables prior to tillage operations and replanting/sowing of new crops are a common practice in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and elsewhere. Where M. nudiflora does manage to survive, the populations are much reduced or controllable in the following season. Grazing by animals may help reduce weed populations, either in post-harvest in rice, maize, vegetables, or within plantation crops (rubber, oil palm, cocoa). Exploitation by animals (grazing, used as poultices and harvested animal fodder), or man (eaten as palatable vegetable in Indonesia and India) also reduces the effects of the weed though does not eliminate it (Burkill, 1935; Holm et al., 1977; Soerjani et al., 1987).
Farmers in Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere control M. nudiflora manually by hand weeding, hoeing or cutting with machete (Wilson, 1981; Soerjani et al., 1987; Pancho and Obien, 1995).
Wilson (1981) reported that bentazone applied as an early post-emergence herbicide either singularly or in mixtures was particularly effective in controlling M. nudiflora and other species of the family Commelinaceae. Also, metribuzin applied as pre-emergence alone or in mixtures gave satisfactory control in many countries. The efficacy of triazines and 2,4-D against the weed were variable, although these herbicides were moderately effective when applied in mixtures. Good control of the weed can be achieved with 2,4-D or MCPA applied 20-30 days after emergence (Galinato et al., 1999).
In tea plantations in Indonesia, glyphosate was effective as a broad-spectrum herbicide, controlling several weed species including M. nudiflora (Soerdasan et al., 1974). However, other studies have shown that even when glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide for control of annual grasses and broad-leaved weed species, M. nudiflora and other members of the Commelinaceae are tolerant and thus not adequately controlled by glyphosate (Wilson et al., 2006; Atkinson, 2014). Atkinson et al. (2017) found that M. nudiflora in turfgrass was tolerant to glyphosate, but that two applications of 2,4-D + MCPP + dicamba + carfentrazone or thiencarbazone + foramsulfuron + halosulfuron provided ∼80% control 6 weeks after initial treatment. In Brazil, Volf et al. (2017) found that only atrazine gave efficient control in soyabean, and that glyphosate gave poor control even mixed with imazethapyr. Yu and McCullough (2016) found that M. nudiflora was less tolerant to atrazine than to simazine.
There is no published information available on the biological control of M. nudiflora.
There is no available information on research and practices pertaining to the integrated control of M. nudiflora per se in the field. However, tillage operation, stubble or straw burning after harvest, animal grazing, and chemical, mechanical, and manual weeding, employed alone, or in sequence to each other are being practised by farmers to control weeds and in cases where M. nudiflora is incidentally prevalent.
ReferencesTop of page
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ContributorsTop of page
08/05/17 Updated by:
Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA
Distribution MapsTop of page
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