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Datasheet

Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 15 November 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Epipremnum pinnatum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • centipede tongavine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • E. pinnatum is a fast-growing vine which has become highly invasive, mostly in tropical forests where it climbs from the forest floor into the forest canopy, engulfing vegetation and shading-out native trees an...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing Eucalyptus trees. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui.  June 18, 2009
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing Eucalyptus trees. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui. June 18, 2009
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2007. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing Eucalyptus trees. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui.  June 18, 2009
Invasive habitEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing Eucalyptus trees. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui. June 18, 2009©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2007. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (golden pothos); habit in a tree at Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui.  June 18, 2009
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum (golden pothos); habit in a tree at Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui. June 18, 2009
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2009. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (golden pothos); habit in a tree at Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui.  June 18, 2009
Invasive habitEpipremnum pinnatum (golden pothos); habit in a tree at Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui. June 18, 2009©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2009. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); climbing on house at Commodore Ave. Sand Island, Midway Atoll.  May 31, 2008
TitleHabit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); climbing on house at Commodore Ave. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. May 31, 2008
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2008. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); climbing on house at Commodore Ave. Sand Island, Midway Atoll.  May 31, 2008
HabitEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); climbing on house at Commodore Ave. Sand Island, Midway Atoll. May 31, 2008©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2008. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing on building. Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll.  June 10, 2008
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing on building. Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 10, 2008
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2008. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing on building. Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll.  June 10, 2008
Invasive habitEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); invasive habit, climbing on building. Cable Company buildings, Sand Island, Midway Atoll. June 10, 2008©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2008. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); leaves and roots. Hana, Maui.  March 21, 2007
TitleLeaves and roots
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); leaves and roots. Hana, Maui. March 21, 2007
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2007. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); leaves and roots. Hana, Maui.  March 21, 2007
Leaves and rootsEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); leaves and roots. Hana, Maui. March 21, 2007©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2007. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); roots on tree. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui.  June 18, 2009
TitleRoots on tree
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); roots on tree. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui. June 18, 2009
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2009. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); roots on tree. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui.  June 18, 2009
Roots on treeEpipremnum pinnatum (centipede tongavine, golden pothos); roots on tree. Kaumahina Wayside Hana Hwy, Maui. June 18, 2009©Forest & Kim Starr Images-2009. CC-BY-3.0
Epipremnum pinnatum growing at the UPR-Botanical Garden, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
TitleHabit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum growing at the UPR-Botanical Garden, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Copyright©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum growing at the UPR-Botanical Garden, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
HabitEpipremnum pinnatum growing at the UPR-Botanical Garden, San Juan, Puerto Rico.©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Copyright©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
Invasive habitEpipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum climbing from the forest floor and overgrowing trees.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum climbing from the forest floor and overgrowing trees.
Copyright©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum climbing from the forest floor and overgrowing trees.
Invasive habitEpipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum climbing from the forest floor and overgrowing trees.©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Leaves of Epipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum. Note that leaves in this cultivar are predominantly entire and variegated with yellow or white.
TitleLeaves
CaptionLeaves of Epipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum. Note that leaves in this cultivar are predominantly entire and variegated with yellow or white.
Copyright©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Leaves of Epipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum. Note that leaves in this cultivar are predominantly entire and variegated with yellow or white.
LeavesLeaves of Epipremnum pinnatum cv Aureum. Note that leaves in this cultivar are predominantly entire and variegated with yellow or white.©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Puerto Rico.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionEpipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Puerto Rico.
Copyright©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo
Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Puerto Rico.
Invasive habitEpipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum overgrowing the trunk of a palm in Puerto Rico.©Smithsonian Institution/P. Acevedo

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Epipremnum pinnatum (L.) Engl.

Preferred Common Name

  • centipede tongavine

Other Scientific Names

  • Epipremnum angustilobum K.Krause
  • Epipremnum aureum (Linden & André) G.S.Bunting
  • Epipremnum elegans Engl.
  • Epipremnum elegans f. ternatensis Alderw.
  • Epipremnum formosanum Hayata
  • Epipremnum glaucicephalum Elmer
  • Epipremnum glaucicephalum Elmer ex Merr.
  • Epipremnum merrillii Engl. & K.Krause
  • Epipremnum mirabile Schott
  • Epipremnum mirabile f. eperforatum Engl.
  • Epipremnum mirabile f. multisectum Engl.
  • Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum Nicolson
  • Epipremnum pinnatum f. multisectum (Engl.) Engl.
  • Epipremnum robinsonii K.Krause
  • Monstera caudata (Roxb.) Schott
  • Monstera dilacerata (K.Koch & Sello) K.Koch
  • Monstera pinnata (L.) Schott
  • Philodendron dilaceratum Engl.
  • Philodendron nechodomae Britton
  • Polypodium laciniatum Blume
  • Polypodium laciniatum Burm.f.
  • Pothos caudatus Roxb.
  • Pothos pinnatifidus Roxb.
  • Pothos pinnatus L.
  • Rhaphidophora caudata (Roxb.) Schott
  • Rhaphidophora cunninghamii Schott
  • Rhaphidophora dilacerata (K.Koch & Sello) K.Koch
  • Rhaphidophora laciniata (Burm.f.) Merr.
  • Rhaphidophora lovellae F.M.Bailey
  • Rhaphidophora merrillii Engl.
  • Rhaphidophora neocaledonica Guillaumin
  • Rhaphidophora pertusa var. vitiensis (Schott) Engl
  • Rhaphidophora pinnata (L.) Schott
  • Rhaphidophora pinnatifida (Roxb.) Schott
  • Rhaphidophora vitiensis Schott
  • Rhaphidophora wallichii Schott
  • Scindapsus bipinnatifidus Teijsm. & Binn.
  • Scindapsus caudatus (Roxb.) Schott
  • Scindapsus dilaceratus K.Koch & Sello
  • Scindapsus forsteri Endl.
  • Scindapsus pinnatifidus (Roxb.) Schott
  • Scindapsus pinnatus (L.) Schott
  • Tornelia dilacerata (K.Koch & Sello) Schott

International Common Names

  • English: devil's ivy; golden pothos; money plant; monstera; taro vine; tonga vine; variegated-philodendron
  • Spanish: bejuco de agua; cortina; enredadera
  • Chinese: long wei cao

Local Common Names

  • Australia: monstera; native monstera
  • Cook Islands: ara
  • Cuba: malanga trepadora; malanguita
  • Ecuador/Galapagos Islands: cortina; enredadera
  • Germany: Gelbe Efeutute
  • Micronesia, Federated states of: selkasohlap
  • Puerto Rico: bejuco de agua
  • South Africa: silver vine
  • Tanzania: money-plant

EPPO code

  • SNDAU (Scindapsus aureus)

Summary of Invasiveness

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E. pinnatum is a fast-growing vine which has become highly invasive, mostly in tropical forests where it climbs from the forest floor into the forest canopy, engulfing vegetation and shading-out native trees and shrubs in the understory (ISSG, 2012). It is a root-climbing vine included in the Global Compendium of Weeds and classified as an “environmental weed” (Randall, 2012). This species spreads mainly by cuttings, plant fragments, and/or discarded plants (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005; Darwin Initiative Project, 2006). E. pinnatum is listed as invasive in the Galápagos Islands, Tanzania, St. Lucia and islands in the Pacific including Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Micronesia (Graveson, 2012; PIER, 2012). In Florida, it is classified as an invasive category II (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Arales
  •                         Family: Araceae
  •                             Genus: Epipremnum
  •                                 Species: Epipremnum pinnatum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Araceae is a family of monocotyledonous flowering plants also known as the “aroid family”. This family comprises about 117 genera and 4095 species, distributed mostly in tropical areas in the New World, but also in Australia, Africa, Madagascar, and north temperate regions (Stevens, 2012). Species in the genera Aglaonema, Anthurium, Caladium, Dieffenbachia, Epipremnum, Monstera, Nephthytis, Philodendron, and Zantedeschia are widely planted as garden and indoor ornamentals. Additionally, the species Colocasia esculenta (taro), Xanthosoma roseum (elephant ear) and Xanthosoma sagittifolium (yautia) are cultivated as food crops for their tubers (Bown, 2000).

The genus Epipremnum includes about 14 species distributed mainly in Australia, Tropical Asia, and from Southeast Asia to the Pacific Islands (Keating, 2004; Stevens, 2012). E. pinnatum is commonly used as an ornamental in tropical regions. The cultivar E. pinnatum cv. Aureum was originally reported from the Solomon Islands, is currently cultivated throughout the tropics, and has become invasive in many locations (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005; Randall, 2012). Although E. aureum (Linden & André) G.S. Bunting is included as an accepted name in The Plant List (2013), it is included here as a synonym of E. pinnatum.

Description

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E. pinnatum is an herbaceous root-climber that can reach 6-8 m long. Stems are flexible, cylindrical, green, and up to 3 cm in diameter, producing watery sap; bark papery. Leaves are alternate, glabrous, and green, not variegated, chartaceous, dimorphic; juvenile leaves are simple, ascendant; adult leaves hanging, pinnately dissected, to 50 × 30 cm; petioles to 35 cm long. Inflorescence is axillary, solitary, erect; spathe sub-cylindrical, up to 18 cm long, fleshy, yellowish, opening along one side, acuminate at apex; spadix sessile, nearly cylindrical, 12-15 cm long. Fruits are berries containing 1-2 seeds. In Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, fruits are unknown (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005).

Plant Type

Top of page Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber

Distribution

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E. pinnatum is native to temperate Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and the Pacific Islands (Govaerts, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2012). The species has been cultivated as an ornamental throughout the tropics and has spread widely to several areas such as the Pacific region, Florida, South Africa, Tanzania, Hawaii, and the West Indies (Wagner et al., 1999; Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005; Wunderlin and Hansen, 2008).

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

BangladeshPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
CambodiaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
China
-ChongqingPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-GuangdongPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
-GuangxiPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
-HubeiPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-SichuanPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-YunnanPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
India
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-AssamPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
IndonesiaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012Borneo
-Irian JayaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
-JavaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-KalimantanPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-MoluccasPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-Nusa TenggaraPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-SulawesiPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-SumatraPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
JapanPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012Nansei-shoto
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
LaosPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
MalaysiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
MyanmarPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
PhilippinesPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
SingaporePresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2012
TaiwanPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
ThailandPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
VietnamPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012

Africa

South AfricaPresentIntroduced Invasive Henderson, 2012Epipremnum aureum
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Darwin Initiative Project, 2006Epipremnum pinnatum

North America

BermudaPresentIntroducedVarnham, 2006
USA
-FloridaPresentIntroduced Invasive Wunderlin and Hansen, 2008Invasive category II
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced Invasive Wagner et al., 1999Cultivated

Central America and Caribbean

CubaPresentIntroduced Invasive Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012
Dominican RepublicPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2012Cultivated
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced Invasive Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005Cultivated. Both Epipremnum pinnatum and Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum are present in Puerto Rico
Saint LuciaPresentIntroduced Invasive Graveson, 2012Cultivated: Epipremnum pinnatum
United States Virgin IslandsPresentIntroducedAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005Cultivated in St. Thomas Epipremnum pinnatum

South America

Ecuador
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum

Oceania

Australia
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
-QueenslandPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
Cook IslandsPresent Invasive Govaerts, 2012Invasive status taken from PIER, 2012 Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
FijiPresent Invasive Govaerts, 2012Invasive status taken from PIER, 2012. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
French PolynesiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Florence et al., 2011Cultivated. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
GuamPresentIntroducedFosberg et al., 1987Cultivated. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
KiribatiPresentIntroducedSpace and Imada, 2004Cultivated. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
Marshall IslandsPresent Invasive Govaerts, 2012Invasive status taken from PIER, 2012. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentIntroduced Invasive Englberger, 2009; Lorence and Flynn, 2010Cultivated. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum. Invasive in Pohnpei. Also found on Kosrae.
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedEnglberger, 2009; Govaerts, 2012
NiuePresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2009Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
PalauPresentIntroduced Invasive Space et al., 2009Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
SamoaPresent Invasive Govaerts, 2012Invasive status taken from PIER, 2012. Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
Solomon IslandsPresentNative Invasive Govaerts, 2012Invasive status taken from PIER, 2012 Epipremnum pinnatum cv. Aureum
TongaPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
VanuatuPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentNativeGovaerts, 2012

History of Introduction and Spread

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E. pinnatum cultivars were probably introduced as ornamentals and houseplants in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Exact timing of introduction to particular countries and regions is very difficult to determine. In Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, this species is commonly planted in gardens throughout the islands (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005). The first record of E. pinnatum for Puerto Rico comes from the collection Britton 8261(NY) from the Luquillo mountains in 1925 and is described as Philodendron nechodomae. Recent collections show the species to be widely spread in Puerto Rico. The cultivar Aureum has become naturalized and a serious pest in Puerto Rico, where it grows profusely and suffocates trees along roads and forest edges including natural areas (Acevedo-Rodríguez, personal observation) In urban areas it is not uncommon to see this cultivar growing on electric and communication posts (Acevedo-Rodríguez, personal observation).

Similarly, on islands in the Pacific such as Hawaii, French Polynesia and Micronesia, E. pinnatum was probably introduced from the Solomon Islands and it is currently reported as an ornamental plant commonly planted in gardens that has escaped into natural habitats (PIER, 2012).

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of introduction of E. pinnatum is high. It is a fast growing vine that is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world as an ornamental and has the potential to become invasive (ISSG, 2012; PIER, 2012). E. pinnatum has escaped from gardens and spreads rapidly into natural forest, climbing into the canopy of mature trees and forming dense stands and outcompeting native vegetation (ISSG, 2012). In consequence, the probability of invasion of this species, especially in and near areas where it was introduced and cultivated, remains high.

Habitat

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E. pinnatum is commonly planted in tropical and subtropical areas as an ornamental used to cover “open grounds” in gardens and yards and as an indoor hanging-potted-plant (Gilman, 2011; ISSG, 2012; PIER, 2012). The species has escaped from cultivation areas and currently it can be found growing in disturbed forests, along roadsides, in urban areas, and in secondary and primary forests climbing on the trunks of trees and into the canopy of mature trees (Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011; ISSG, 2012; PIER, 2012).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
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
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number in this species is 2n=60 (Marchant, 1970). 

Reproductive Biology

In Araceae, flowers are borne on a type of inflorescence called a “spadix”, which is usually accompanied by a spathe or leaf-like bract (Stevens, 2012). The spadix is usually organized with female flowers towards the bottom and male flowers towards the top of the inflorescence. In species with perfect flowers, the stigma is no longer receptive when the pollen is released, thus preventing self-fertilization. There are also some dioecious species within this family (Bown, 2000). In the case of E. pinnatum, plants produce 1 or 2 inflorescences per node. Flowers are bisexual, without perianth; with 4 stamens; ovary prismatic, truncate at apex, unilocular, with 2 (-8) basal or parietal ovules (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005). Within its native range, this species reproduces sexually by seed, and vegetatively by cuttings or plant fragments. However, in many locations where it has been introduced, sexual reproduction appears to be absent or extremely rare, and plants mainly spread vegetatively. 

Physiology and Phenology

E. pinnatum produces flowers throughout the year (Gilman, 2011). 

Environmental Requirements

E. pinnatum is a shade tolerant species that grows in tropical and subtropical areas with warm temperatures (ISSG, 2012; PIER, 2012). It is drought and heat tolerant, but has poor salt tolerance (Gilman, 2011). E. pinnatum has the potential to grow in a wide variety of soils including clay, sandy, and loamy soils with pH ranging from 4 to 6 (Gilman, 2011).

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)

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 35
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 10

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall5003500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Within its native range, E. pinnatum can be dispersed by seeds, and vegetatively by cutting and plant fragments (Gilman, 2011; ISSG, 2012). Reproductive plants produce berries containing seeds which are eaten and dispersed by animals, mainly birds (Darwin Initiative Project, 2006). Outside its native range, plants produce flowers, but do not set fruits, and this species spreads mainly by cuttings and plant fragments (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005). Stem fragments remain viable for long periods and have the capacity to grow into new individuals (Acevedo-Rodríguez, pers. observ.)

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Escape from confinement or garden escapeCultivated in gardens and yards Yes Yes Gilman, 2011
Garden waste disposalCuttings and plant disposals Yes Yes PIER, 2012
Medicinal useTraditional medicine Yes Yes Chen and Turner, 1998
Ornamental purposesPlanted in gardens and yards as a ground cover Yes Yes Gilman, 2011

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesCuttings and plant disposals Yes Yes PIER, 2012

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Economic/livelihood Negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

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E. pinnatum is an aggressive invasive vine. It grows forming dense colonies that engulf native vegetation, climbing from the floor of the forest to areas high into the canopies of mature trees, and shading-out native trees and shrubs in the understory of the forests (ISSG, 2012; PIER 2012). This species has the potential to completely out-compete vegetation communities by displacing native species and changing community structures (ISSG, 2012). Tubers of E. pinnatum contain calcium oxalate crystals and are poisonous if they are consumed. Plants can cause minor skin irritation when touched (Gilman, 2011; ISSG, 2012).

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Induces hypersensitivity
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth

Impact outcomes

  • Host damage
  • Loss of medicinal resources
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species

Invasiveness

  • Abundant in its native range
  • Fast growing
  • Has a broad native range
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Tolerant of shade

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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E. pinnatum is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical countries in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and West Indies (ISSG, 2012; PIER, 2012; USDA-ARS, 2012).

The species has been also used in traditional medicine in tropical Southeast Asia to treat rheumatism, fractures, and dysentery. In Singapore, leaves of E. pinnatum have a local reputation as an effective anticancer agent. A study performed in this country has revealed that leaf extracts exhibit in vitro cytotoxicity toward cancer cells, and the hot water soluble fraction of the leaf extract also produces immuno-stimulation in laboratory tests (Chen and Turner, 1998).

Uses List

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General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Ornamental

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Propagation material

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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The cultivar Aureum (E. pinnatumAureum”) is similar to the wild species except that it is usually more robust, reaching 10 metres or more; the stems and petioles are yellow-orange, the leaves are variegated with yellow, and the cultivar rarely produces flowers or fruits. This cultivar was originally reported from the Solomon Islands, and currently it is cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics (Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong, 2005).

Prevention and Control

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Physical removal of E. pinnatum is very difficult but can be effective if done repeatedly for a long period. All rhizomes, tubers, and plant fragments must be properly disposed of from treated areas in order to avoid resprouts (Englberger, 2009).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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  1. Studies evaluating the impacts of this exotic species on native plants and natural vegetation communities are needed in order to develop appropriate management strategies.
  2. Recommendations for management and control (i.e., mechanical, biological and/or chemical control) are needed for this species.

References

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Acevedo-Rodríguez P; Strong MT, 2005. Monocots and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium, volume 52:415 pp.

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

Bown D, 2000. Aroids: plants of the Arum family, Ed.2. Portland, USA: Timber Press, 392 pp.

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

Chen LMJ; Turner IM, 1998. The use of Epipremnum pinnatum (Araceae) in Singapore in the treatment of cancer: an unreported application of a herbal medicine. Economic Botany, 52(1):108-109.

Darwin Initiative Project, 2006. Combating Invasive Alien Plants Threatening the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Usambara Invasive Plants. Species descriptions. http://www.tropical-biology.org/research/dip/species.htm

Englberger K, 2009. Invasive weeds of Pohnpei: A guide for identification and public awareness. Kolonia, Federated States of Micronesia: Conservation Society of Pohnpei, 29 pp.

Florence J; Chevillotte H; Ollier C; Meyer JY, 2011. [English title not available]. (Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP).) . http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2011. Florida EPPC's 2011 Invasive Plant Species List. http://www.fleppc.org/list/11list.html

Fosberg FR; Sachet M-H; Oliver R, 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. Micronesia 20: 1-2, 19-129.

Gilman EF, 2011. Epipremnum aureum Golden Pothos., USA: University of Florida IFAS Extension. [FPS 194.] http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fp194

Govaerts R, 2012. World Checklist of Araceae. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

Graveson R, 2012. Plants of Saint Lucia. http://www.saintlucianplants.com

Henderson L, 2012. Invasive Aroids. Sapia News. Newsletter of the Southern African plant invaders atlas, 23:1-5.

ISSG, 2012. Global Invasive Species Database (GISD). Auckland, New Zealand: University of Auckland. http://www.issg.org/database

Keating RC, 2004. Vegetative anatomical data and its relationship to a revised classification of the genera of Araceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 91(3):485-494.

Lorence DH; Flynn T, 2010. Checklist of the plants of Kosrae. Unpublished checklist. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Lawai, Hawaii: National Tropical Botanical Garden, 26.

MARCHANT CJ, 1970. Chromosome variation in Araceae: I. Pothoeae to Stylochitoneae. Kew Bulletin, 24:315-22.

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.

PIER, 2012. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

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Space JC; Flynn T, 2000. Report to the Government of Niue on invasive plant species of environmental concern. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu, 34.

Space JC; Imada CT, 2004. Report to the Republic of Kiribati on invasive plant species on the islands of Tarawa, Abemama, Butaritari and Maiana. Cont. no. 2003-006 to the Pac. Biol. Surv. USDA Forest Service and Bishop Museum, Honolulu.

Space JC; Lorence DH; LaRosa AM, 2009. Report to the Republic of Palau: 2008 update on Invasive Plant Species. Hilo, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service, 227. http://www.sprep.org/att/irc/ecopies/countries/palau/48.pdf

Space JC; Waterhouse BM; Newfield M; Bull C, 2004. Report to the Government of Niue and the United Nations Development Programme: Invasive plant species on Niue following Cyclone Heta. 80 pp. [UNDP NIU/98/G31 - Niue Enabling Activity.] http://www.hear.org/pier/reports/niue_report_2004.htm

Stevens PF, 2012. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.theplantlist.org

USDA-ARS, 2012. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

Varnham K, 2006. Database of non-native species occurring in UK Overseas Territories. [JNCC Report 372.]

Wagner WL; Herbst DR; Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA: Bishop Museum Press, 1919 pp.

Wunderlin RP; Hansen BF, 2008. Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Florida, USA: University of South Florida. http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/

Contributors

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7/12/12 Original text 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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