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Datasheet

Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Alternanthera sessilis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • sessile joyweed
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • A. sessilis is a pioneer species typically growing on disturbed areas and in wetland habitats, and regarded as a fast-growing highly invasive weed. It is adapted to grow on a range of soil types ranging from po...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Flowering plant in rice.
TitleA. sessilis flowering plant
CaptionFlowering plant in rice.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Flowering plant in rice.
A. sessilis flowering plantFlowering plant in rice.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
a, Flowers; b, flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes; c, pistil; d, utricle with persistent perianth; e, seed.
TitleA. sessilis - line drawing
Captiona, Flowers; b, flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes; c, pistil; d, utricle with persistent perianth; e, seed.
CopyrightSEAMEO-BIOTROP
a, Flowers; b, flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes; c, pistil; d, utricle with persistent perianth; e, seed.
A. sessilis - line drawinga, Flowers; b, flowers without perianth, three stamens alternating with two pseudostaminodes; c, pistil; d, utricle with persistent perianth; e, seed.SEAMEO-BIOTROP

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R. Br. ex DC.

Preferred Common Name

  • sessile joyweed

Other Scientific Names

  • Achyranthes linearifolia Sw. ex Wikstr.
  • Achyranthes sessilis (L.) Besser
  • Achyranthes triandra Roxb.
  • Achyranthes villosa Blanco
  • Allaganthera forsskaolei Mart.
  • Alternanthera angustifolia R.Br.
  • Alternanthera denticulata R.Br.
  • Alternanthera ficoides P.Beauv.
  • Alternanthera glabra Moq.
  • Alternanthera nana R.Br.
  • Alternanthera nodiflora R.Br.
  • Alternanthera prostrata D.Don
  • Alternanthera repens J.F.Gmel.
  • Alternanthera sennii Mattei
  • Alternanthera tenuissima Suess.
  • Alternanthera triandra var. denticulata (R.Br.) Maiden & Betche
  • Alternanthera triandra var. nodiflora (R.Br.) Maiden & Betche
  • Gomphrena sessilis L.
  • Illecebrum sessile (L.) L.
  • Paronychia sessilis (L.) Desf.

International Common Names

  • English: creeping chaffweed; dwarf copperleaf; khaki weed; rabbit weed; rabbit-meat
  • Spanish: colchon de nino; coyuntura; hierba de perico; paja blanca; sanguinaria; santoma cimarrona (Dominican Republic)
  • French: brède chevrette; herbe d'emballage; magloire; serenti
  • Chinese: lian zi cao
  • Portuguese: bredo-de-agua; periquito-sessil; perpetua

Local Common Names

  • Cambodia: cheng bângkong; phak phew
  • Fiji: galuti
  • Germany: Garnelenkraut
  • Indonesia: bayem kremah; daun tolod; kremah; kremek; tolod
  • Japan: tsurunogeito
  • Laos: khaix ped
  • Malaysia: akar rumput; bayam pasir; bayam tana; carpet weed keremak; kelama hijau; kerak-kerak paya; keremak; kerumak bukit paya
  • Nepal: bhirangijhar
  • Philippines: bonga-bonga
  • Samoa: vao sosolo
  • Sri Lanka: mukunuwanna
  • Taiwan: periquito-sessil
  • Thailand: phakpet khaao; phakpet thai
  • Tonga: brede embellage
  • Zambia: mkungira

EPPO code

  • ALRSE (Alternanthera sessilis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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A. sessilis is a pioneer species typically growing on disturbed areas and in wetland habitats, and regarded as a fast-growing highly invasive weed. It is adapted to grow on a range of soil types ranging from poor sandy or alkaline soils, to loam or black cotton soils. It is also able to grow in seasonally-waterlogged areas as well as in areas with extreme dry conditions (Holm et al., 1997). A. sessilis can be found invading floodplain wetlands, margins of rivers, streams, canals, ditches, ponds, reservoirs, tanks, marshes, swamps, wet low-lying ground, ephemeral pools, seasonal pans and damp forest. This species is also a weed in fields with sorghum, millet, Eleusine spp., maize, cotton, cassava, cereal crops, pastures, and vegetable farms (Gupta, 2014).  Consequently, this species has been listed as invasive in India, South Africa, Namibia, Spain, Hawaii and many other islands in the Pacific Ocean (see distribution table for details). It is also listed as a noxious weed in the United States (USDA-NRCS, 2014). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Caryophyllales
  •                         Family: Amaranthaceae
  •                             Genus: Alternanthera
  •                                 Species: Alternanthera sessilis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Alternanthera is a diverse genus (80–200 species) and the second largest in subfamily Gomphrenoideae of the Amaranthaceae.  The highest diversity of this genus occurs in South America, but many species also occur in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico (Sanchez del Pino et al., 2012). 

Description

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A. sessilis is an annual or perennial herb, of 0.2-1 m high, with strong taproots. The stems are generally prostrate, creeping, often rooting at the nodes, sometimes floating or ascending at the tips, cylindrical and slightly hairy, with numerous, erect branches. The leaves are simple, opposite, shortly petiolate or sessile, broadly lanceolate or spatulate to almost linear, 0.6-5 cm long, and 0.3-1 cm wide. They are attenuated at the base, and the apex is acute to blunt, with entire, glabrous or pilose (thin, fine, articulate hairs) margins. The inflorescences are dense, sessile, silvery-white clusters of compressed spikes in the leaf axils; perianth segments are equal in length, acute, 1.5-2.5 mm long with a short point. Bracts are ovate, concave, 0.3-1 mm long and persistent; bracteoles are oblong-ovate, 1-1.5 mm long, may be acute, and not deeply lacerated. Sepals are 2-3 mm long, white or purplish, glossy with a green base, glabrous or with a few long hairs, and a strong midrib. The fruits are indehiscent, a small, flattened, obcordate or obovate utricle, 2-2.5 mm long, enclosing the seed. Seeds are dark-brown to black, disc-shaped and shiny, about 0.8-1 mm in diameter. They are light sensitive and the average number of seeds per plant is ca 2000.

Distribution

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A. sessilis has a pantropical distribution, being present throughout the Old World tropics, tropical Africa, southern and eastern Asia and Australia. The native range is uncertain (Gupta, 2014). Many Chinese publications (e.g. Fan et al., 2013) describe it as native to China, and USDA-ARS (2014) lists the native range as China and southern to southeastern Asia. It is reported as native to some of the Pacific Ocean island groups and as introduced to others (Gupta, 2014). However, the most recent study of the genera Alternanthera suggests that A. sessilis originated in South America and from here was introduced to the Old World (Sanchez del Pino et al., 2012). 

See Holm et al. (1991), Gupta (2014) and the distribution table for a list of countries in which this species has been recorded.

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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

BangladeshRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
BhutanPresentParker, 1992
CambodiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
ChinaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-AnhuiPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-FujianPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-GuangdongPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-GuangxiPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-GuizhouPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-Hong KongRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
-HubeiPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-HunanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-JiangsuPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-JiangxiPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-SichuanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-YunnanPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
-ZhejiangPresentFlora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Listed as both native and introduced
IndiaRestricted distributionDatta and Biswas, 1979; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-AssamPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-Jammu and KashmirPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-ManipurPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-MeghalayaPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-MizoramPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-NagalandPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-SikkimPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-TripuraPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-UttarakhandPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
-West BengalPresentIntroduced Invasive Chandra, 2012
IndonesiaRestricted distributionSoerjani et al., 1987; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
IranRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
IraqRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
IsraelRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
JapanRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; Mito and Uesugi, 2004; EPPO, 2014
JordanRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
Korea, DPRRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
Korea, Republic ofRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
LaosPresentPancho and Soerjani, 1978; Holm et al., 1991
MalaysiaRestricted distributionParham, 1958; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
MyanmarPresentHolm et al., 1991
NepalRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
PakistanRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
PhilippinesRestricted distributionPancho and Obien, 1983; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
SingaporePresentPancho and Soerjani, 1978; Holm et al., 1991; Chong et al., 2009
Sri LankaPresentMoody et al., 1984; USDA-ARS, 2014
TaiwanRestricted distributionChaing & Leu, 1981; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
ThailandRestricted distributionParham, 1958; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
VietnamRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
BeninPresentIntroducedHolm et al., 1991; PROTA, 2014
BotswanaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
BurundiPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
CameroonRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
ChadPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
Congo Democratic RepublicRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
Côte d'IvoireRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
EgyptRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
GabonPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
GambiaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
GhanaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
GuineaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
KenyaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
LiberiaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
MadagascarPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
MaliPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
MauritaniaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
MauritiusRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
MozambiqueRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
NamibiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Bethune et al., 2004
NigerPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
NigeriaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
RwandaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
SenegalRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
South AfricaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; Foxcroft et al., 2003; EPPO, 2014
SudanRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014
SwazilandPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
TanzaniaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
TunisiaPresentIntroducedPROTA, 2014
UgandaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
ZambiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014
ZimbabweRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PROTA, 2014

North America

MexicoPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
USARestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-ArkansasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-CaliforniaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Weed
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999; EPPO, 2014
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-MarylandPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MinnesotaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-MississippiPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-OregonPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed
-TexasPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014
-VermontPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014Noxious weed

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
BarbadosPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
British Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012Tortola
Cayman IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
Costa RicaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
CubaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
DominicaPresentNative
Dominican RepublicRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012; EPPO, 2014
El SalvadorPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
GrenadaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
GuadeloupePresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
GuatemalaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
HaitiPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012
HondurasPresentNativeMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
JamaicaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012; EPPO, 2014
MartiniquePresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
MontserratPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Netherlands AntillesPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
NicaraguaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
PanamaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
Puerto RicoRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; Acevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012; EPPO, 2014
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Saint LuciaPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNativeBroome et al., 2007
Trinidad and TobagoRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014
United States Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodriguez and Strong, 2012

South America

ArgentinaPresentHolm et al., 1991
Brazil
-AcrePresentNativeSenna, 2014
-AmazonasPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-BahiaPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Espirito SantoPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Mato GrossoPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Minas GeraisPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-ParaPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-ParanaPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-RoraimaPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativeSenna, 2014
-Sao PauloPresentNativeSenna, 2014
ColombiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014
EcuadorRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014
French GuianaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007
GuyanaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007
PeruPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2014
SurinameRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; Funk et al., 2007; EPPO, 2014
VenezuelaPresentNativeFunk et al., 2007

Europe

BelgiumPresentIntroducedDAISIE, 2014Casual alien
ItalyRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
Russian FederationRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
SpainPresentIntroduced Invasive Sanz-Elorza et al., 2008; DAISIE, 2014Naturalized. Listed as invasive in Castilla & Leon (Sanz-Elorza, 2008)

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
AustraliaPresentParham, 1958; Parsons, 1973; Holm et al., 1991
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedEPPO, 2009
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedEPPO, 2009
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedEPPO, 2009
Cook IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
FijiRestricted distributionParham, 1958; Holm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PIER, 2014
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
GuamPresentPIER, 2014
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentHolm et al., 1991; PIER, 2014
NauruPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
New CaledoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
New ZealandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentPIER, 2014
PalauPresentPIER, 2014
Papua New GuineaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1991; EPPO, 2014; PIER, 2014
Pitcairn IslandRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
SamoaPresentPIER, 2014
TongaPresentPIER, 2014
TuvaluPresentPIER, 2014
VanuatuPresentPIER, 2014
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive PIER, 2014

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of A. sessilis is moderate. This species is commercialized for ornamental purposes, and its seeds are naturally spread by wind and water. The probability for A. sessilis to colonize new areas is therefore high principally in areas near cultivation. In the USA, the species is listed as a noxious weed (USDA-NRCS, 2014). 

Habitat

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A. sessilis is a common pantropical weed of shady, damp soils in cultivated and waste areas. It is commonly associated with roadsides, pathways, wasteland, irrigation canals, ditches, dykes, gardens, swamps, and fallow ground. It can be found in hydromorphic ricefields in West Africa and Asia, and in the following cultivated areas: maize crops in Nigeria; sorghum, millet, Eleusine sp., maize, cotton, cassava, groundnuts and cash crops in Zaire; and tobacco, dryland field crops, pastures and vegetable farms in the Philippines. While it is typically found growing on disturbed parts of a variety of wetland habitats, including in water up to 1 m deep (Gupta, 2014), the plant is adapted to both hydric and xeric conditions (Datta and Biswas, 1979).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Freshwater
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Irrigation channels Present, no further details Natural
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Natural
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeMain
Eleusine coracana (finger millet)PoaceaeMain
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain
Panicum miliaceum (millet)PoaceaeMain
Polyphagous (polyphagous)Main
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)PoaceaeMain
Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for A. sessilis varied from 2n = 34 to 2n = 40 (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Reproductive biology and Phenology:

A. sessilis is an annual or perennial herb, 0.2-1 m high, with strong creeping tap roots. The stems are generally prostrate, often rooting at the nodes, sometimes floating, creeping or ascending at the tips, cylindrical and slightly hairy, with numerous erect branches. It is propagated by vegetative fragments, and seeds, and fruits which are dispersed myrmechorously (by ants) (Moody et al., 1984; Pancho, 1986; Soerjani et al., 1987). The average number of seeds produced per plant is ca 2000.

A. sessilis has been recorded flowering and fruiting all year in some areas. In India, the plants flower and fruit throughout the year with most vigorous vegetative growth at the onset of the monsoon season, and most vigorous reproductive growth at the end of the season. Flowers are self-pollinated and the fruits are dispersed by both wind and water. In Java, Indonesia, it flowers from January to December (Datta and Biswas, 1979; Pancho, 1986; Soerjani et al., 1987). In China the species flowers from May to July and fruits from July to September (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014). In North America it has been recorded flowering during summer or early autumn (Holm et al., 1997).

Environmental Requirements

A. sessilis can grow on a wide range of soil types, preferring wet conditions. It can be found at low and medium altitudes in the Philippines, and from 0-2650 m in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. It prefers loamy, alkaline soils, low in exchangeable calcium and rich in total nitrogen. This species is able to grow in flooded areas (up to 90 cm deep), but it is also tolerant of extreme dry conditions (Holm et al., 1997; PROTA, 2014).

The species is often present in species-rich associations with a range of aquatic and wetland plants in disturbed wetlands. It grows in the drawdown zones of water bodies or in water up to 1 m deep, where it may be part floating and part emergent or even grow in mats of floating vegetation, but can also grow in relatively dry situations (Gupta, 2014).

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])
BS - Steppe climate Tolerated > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer 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)

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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A. sessilis spreads by seeds and vegetatively by stems that run along the soil surface and root at the nodes. Seeds are dispersed by wind and water and stem fragments can be carried considerable distances by floodwater—downstream and out over floodplains. Once established, stem fragments can produce new roots. Fragmentation and dispersal can also occur as a result of human activity (Holm et al., 1997). 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Crop productionWeed Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
DisturbanceWeed Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
Escape from confinement or garden escapeStems and seeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
Garden waste disposalPlanted in gardens and water-gardens Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
Ornamental purposesPlanted in water-gardens Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesStems Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
Floating vegetation and debrisStems and fruits Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
WaterSeeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997
WindSeeds Yes Yes Holm et al., 1997

Impact Summary

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

Economic Impact

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A. sessilis is the predominant weed in paddy fields in Taiwan. It causes moderate yield and/or quality losses and is economically important in certain other rice producing countries (Chiang and Leu, 1981). It can be noxious (Soerjani et al., 1987). In Nigeria it is a weed of maize crops, while in the Democratic Republic of the Congo it has been recorded growing in fields of a range of cash crops (Gupta, 2014).

A. sessilis is an alternative host of the root-knot nematodes, Meloidogyne incognita and Pratylenchus coffeae (Goodey et al., 1965). Rhizoecus kondonis, a citrus root mealybug which causes severe damage to citrus roots in Fujian Province, China, has also been reported on the plant (Huang et al., 1983).

Myzus persicae, a vector of pawpaw ringspot virus and many other virus diseases, has been shown to replicate on A. sessilis in laboratory tests (Hsieh and Hwang, 1986).

A. sessilis is used in folk medicine in southeast Asia, and is also a popular leafy vegetable.

Environmental Impact

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A. sessilis is an environmental and agricultural weed and an invasive plant principally in wetlands.  Under favorable conditions, it grows forming pure stands of dense, interwoven stems that smother aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats; block irrigation ditches and dams; replace native vegetation; and interfere with crops and pastures in low-lying, poorly drained areas.  

Risk and Impact Factors

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Uses

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A. sessilis is a popular leafy vegetable, and is used as a folk medicine plant in southeast Asia (Gunasekara, 2008). Juice of the plant is an ingredient in medicinal hair oils (Gupta, 2014). The species also serves as good ground cover and fodder.

Uses List

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Human food and beverage

  • Vegetable

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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Mature A. sessilis is quite similar to the highly invasive A. philoxeroides, but the latter is a perennial and the clusters of flowers are carried on distinct peduncles. The similarity of the species is such that Sri Lankan community members living in Australia have been reported as mistakenly growing A. philoxeroides when intending to cultivate A. sessilis as a vegetable (Gunasekera, 2008).

Prevention and Control

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Hand Weeding

A. sessilis is removed by hand weeding in rice fields in Taiwan as other cultural practices are ineffective against this perennial weed (Chiang and Leu, 1981).

Chemical Control

A. sessilis can be controlled using amitrole, and repetitive applications of 2,4-D and MCPA are also moderately effective against this weed (Soerjani et al., 1987). Ampong-Nyarko and de Datta (1991) list A. sessilis as susceptible to bensulfuron, 2,4-D, MCPA, oxadiazon and propanil but resistant to fenoxaprop and piperophos. It is also susceptible to butachlor (Parker, 1992).

Utilization of Weeds

An alternative method of controlling A. sessilis is through the utilization of the weed by farmers. Young shoots and leaves of the weed are harvested as vegetables in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines and Indo-China. It also serves as good ground cover and fodder. The weed can be used as a decoction to relieve diarrhoea, dysentery and refrigerant fever and can be made into poultices for application to wounds and sores, and to relieve inflammation. Medicated lotions may also be produced from A. sessilis for treatment of beri-beri and fever, and infusions of the weed can be taken internally for fever and inflammation of the intestines (Burkill, 1966; Soewardi et al., 1982; Pancho and Obien, 1983).

For further information on the control of A. sessilis in Australia, see Parsons (1973).

References

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Contributors

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25/11/14 Updated by:

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

Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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