Borreria latifolia (broadleaf buttonweed)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Borreria latifolia (Aubl.) K. Schum. 1888
Preferred Common Name
- broadleaf buttonweed
Other Scientific Names
- Borreria alata (Aublet) DC.
- Borreria bartilingiana DC.
- Borreria perrottettii DC.
- Borreria scaberrima Bold.
- Spermacoce coerulescens Aublet
- Spermacoce latifolia Aubl. (1775)
International Common Names
- Spanish: canse mozo
Local Common Names
- Brazil: erva-quente
- Indonesia: emprak; goletrak; jukut minggu; katumpang; Letah ayam
- Malaysia: Rumput setawar
- Thailand: Kradum bai yai
- BOILF (Borreria latifolia)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Gentianales
- Family: Rubiaceae
- Genus: Borreria
- Species: Borreria latifolia
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page The `Flora of Java' describes some eight species in the genus Borreria G. F. W. Mey (Backer and Bakhuizen van den Brink, 1965). However, the taxonomy and nomenclature of B. latifolia has been rather confusing. Many authors (Backer and Bakhuizen van den Brink, 1965; Holm et al., 1979; Barnes and Chan, 1990) considered B. latifolia synonymous to B. alata. The name B. alata has been widely used used for B. latifolia both in S-E Asia and South America. Apparently, Steyermark (1972, cited by Michael, in press) distinguished B. alata from B. latifolia based on their distribution. B. latifolia is a common weed througout the tropics. Two other synonyms that had been used are B. scaberrima and Spermacoce latifolia.
The Bayer code for B. latifolia is BOILF (Bayer, 1992). This code is accepted by the Weed Science Society of America in their publications.
The most recent accurate review of B. latifolia and B. alata is by Tjitrosoedirdjo (1992).
DescriptionTop of page Tjitrosoedirdjo (1992) describes the mature plants of B. latifolia as follows:
A branched herb, prostrate, ascendent or erect, usually branched from the base, stems fleshy, 4-winged, about 75 cm tall; leaves opposite, elliptical, broadest above the middle, tip broadly and shortly pointed, base tapered, variable in size about 2.5-5.0 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, thick, hairy on both sides, short leafstalk; leaf base joined with cup-shaped stipules with bristles on edges. Inflorescence in leaf axils, 0.6-1.2 cm across, off white, each flower with hairy calyx of four sepals; stamens 4 and stigma forked; flowers throughout the year; fruit hairy, splitting into two pairs to release seeds.
The seedling has the following characteristics (Henderson, 1974; Soerjani et al., 1987):
Hypocotyl 15-23 mm long, papillate, reddish green. Cotyledons 2; stipules hairy, inter-petiolar; petiole 2-2.5 mm, glabrous, green to reddish green, blade broadly ovate, 9.5-11.5 by 9.5-10 mm, glabrous, mid-nerve distinct, base obtuse, margin entire, apex shallowly emarginate. Epicotyl 3-4.5 mm long, 4-winged and hairy. First leaves 2, with inter-petiolar stipules; stipule 3-lobate, hairy; petiole about 1 mm long, densely hairy; blade ovate to narrowly ovate, 10.5-19.0 by 5-8.5 mm, short and hairy, pinnately nerved, based attenuate to obtuse, margin entire, short and hairy, apex subacuminate.
DistributionTop of page B. latifolia originated from the West Indies and tropical America but now has a pan-tropical distribution (Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1992). Holm et al. (1979) recorded it in 19 countries. However, it may well be in other countries not in this list.
B. latifolia is a common weed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Introduced in Java, it has become naturalised in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan and Sulawesi (Soerjani et al., 1987; Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1992). In Malaysia, it is distributed throughout the Peninsula and is found in Sarawak and Sabah (K.F.Kon & F.W.Lim, Ciba Plant Protection, Malaysia, personal communication, 1996). It is also widely distributed in Thailand (Harada et al., 1987).
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.Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present, Localized||Verdcourt (1976); EPPO (2020)|
|Ghana||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Guinea||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Liberia||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Nigeria||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Senegal||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Verdcourt (1976)|
|Brunei||Present, Widespread||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Cambodia||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|China||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Zhejiang||Present||Li GenYou et al. (2006)|
|India||Present, Localized||Verdcourt (1976); EPPO (2020)|
|Indonesia||Present, Widespread||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Soerjani, 1987|
|Malaysia||Present, Localized||Barnes and Chan (1990); EPPO (2020)|
|Sri Lanka||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Thailand||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Vietnam||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Costa Rica||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Mexico||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|Netherlands Antilles||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
|French Polynesia||Present||Holm et al. (1979)|
|Brazil||Present, Localized||Gomes et al. (1991); EPPO (2020)|
|-Espirito Santo||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|-Goias||Present||CABI (Undated)||Original citation: Lorenzo, 1982|
|-Mato Grosso do Sul||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|-Minas Gerais||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|-Rio Grande do Norte||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|-Rio Grande do Sul||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|-Santa Catarina||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|-Sao Paulo||Present||Lorenzi (1982)|
|Suriname||Present, Localized||Holm et al. (1979); EPPO (2020)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page B. latifolia is not a quarantine weed per se in South-East Asia. Yet this weed could spread to Borreria-free countries or islands in this region via contaminated feed, grain, seed and live animal trade.
HabitatTop of page B. latifolia grows well in humid tropical regions with a short and a pronounced dry season, on sunny or lightly shaded shallow fields or those with a second crop, along roads and steep riverbanks (Soerjani et al., 1987). It grows also on poor soils and prefers sandy soils (Soerjani et al., 1987). It is found up to an elevation of 1600 m in Thailand (Harada et al., 1987).
It is a common weed in sugarcane, rubber, oil palm, orchards, tea, chinchona, cassava and many annual upland crops such as maize, soybean and rice (Holm, 1982; Alcantara and Carvalho, 1983; Barnes and Chan, 1990; Tjitrosemito, 1990; Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1992; Suryaningtyas and Terry, 1993; Tiw et al., 1994; Kon et al., 1995).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Allium cepa (onion)||Liliaceae||Main|
|Camellia sinensis (tea)||Theaceae||Main|
|Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm)||Arecaceae||Main|
|Glycine max (soyabean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)||Euphorbiaceae||Main|
|Manihot esculenta (cassava)||Euphorbiaceae||Main|
|Oryza sativa (rice)||Poaceae||Main|
|Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)||Poaceae||Main|
|Theobroma cacao (cocoa)||Malvaceae||Main|
|Vigna radiata (mung bean)||Fabaceae||Main|
|Zea mays (maize)||Poaceae||Main|
Biology and EcologyTop of page B. latifolia reproduces by seed. It is a prolific seeder, but there has been no determination of its reproductive capacity. It requires light to germinate. Once established, it is fast growing and becomes reproductive within 2 months (Scholaen and Koch, 1988). The weed is palatable to domestic animals such as cattle, goats and chicken. However there is no information on the survival of the seeds after they pass through the alimentary canal of these animals.
Seeds that have been extracted from soils from oil palm and rubber plantations were 26-29% viable (Ismail et al., 1995). In rubber, the seed density was 26-70 per m<2>, but 242-1553 per m<2> in oil palm. It favours more open conditions. This is evident when flushes of seedlings emerge after the destruction of the previous vegetation by glyphosate and glyphosate mixtures (Khairuddin and Teoh, 1992; Lam et al., 1993).
B. latifolia can also spread vegetatively.
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page There is no published information on the natural enemies of B. latifolia. However, populations of this species were susceptible to a fungal leaf disease at Rembau, Malaysia (K.F.Kon & F.W.Lim, Ciba Plant Protection, Malaysia, personal communication, 1966). The identity of the causal organism is not ascertained.
ImpactTop of page It is a common weed in sugarcane, rubber, oil palm, orchards, tea, chinchona, cassava and many annual upland crops such as maize, soybean and rice (Holm, 1982; Alcantara and Carvalho, 1983; Barnes and Chan, 1990; Tjitrosemito, 1990; Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1992; Suryaningtyas and Terry, 1993; Tiw et al., 1994; Kon et al., 1995).
B. latifolia in large numbers competes with crops for nutrients and water. It reduced the dry weight and height of young rubber by 12 and 17%, respectively (Chee, 1994). Together with other species, the critical period of competition in rubber is 4-6 weeks after transplanting (Suryaningtyas and Terry, 1993). In upland rice, the critical period of competition is 4-8 weeks after sowing (Tjitrosoedirdjo, 1992). However, it did not affect the growth of tea according to Soedarsan et al. (1976).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page B. latifolia may occur together with B. laevis in the same habitat. However, the two weeds are distinguished on stem morphology. The former has stems conspicuously winged and the latter has stems 4-ribbed or 4-angled but not distinctly winged (Soerjani et al., 1987). Further, the stem of B. latifolia is succulent while that of B. laevis is wiry. A key to the common Rubiaceae weeds of West Africa (Salamero et al., 1997) helps distinguish B. latifolia from several somewhat similar species.
Salamero et al. (1997) provide a valuable guide to 13 related weeds in the Rubiaceae occurring in West Africa, based on vegetative characters. The two species closest to B. latifolia vegetatively are Spermacoce ocymoides (=Borreria ocymoides), which differs in generally having smaller, more slender stem and leaves with stem angle scabrid, and white to pinkish flowers; and Diodia sarmentosa with only stem angles pubescent, instead of hairy all round as in B. latifolia.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Regulatory control
B. latifolia is not a quarantine weed per se in South-East Asia. Yet this weed could spread to Borreria-free countries or islands in this region via contaminated feed, grain, seed and live animal trade. Stringent quarantine procedures need to be instituted to prevent the spread of Borreria.
Cultivation by hoeing, ploughing or rotovation reduces the surface seeds and germination of B. latifolia. In six seasons of investigations in a maize/soybean/upland rice rotation at Rembau, Malaysia, infestations of B. latifolia decreased significantly in tilled soil, but it remained dominant in a zero-tillage system (Tiw et al., 1994; Kon et al., 1995). Also in Indonesia, tillage controlled B. latifolia (Bangun et al., 1986).
There is no published information on the biological control of this weed.
There are a range of chemical control methods. In general, the triazines, substituted ureas and dinitroanilines applied pre-emergence can control B. latifolia well. The effective post-emergence herbicides are 2,4-D, paraquat, glufosinate, picloram, diphenyl ethers, imidazolinones and sulfonylureas.
Herbicides and types of treatment used against B. latifolia in different crops are listed below.
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), rubber (Hevea brasiliensis)
Post-emergence: glyphosate+picloram (Sabudin and Teng, 1986), glyphosate+linuron, linuron (Yang, 1978), glyphosate+terbuthylazine, glufosinate, paraquat, metsulfuron (Lim et al., in press).
Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)
Post-emergence: paraquat+diuron, glufosinate+diuron (Suwanarak et al., 1988)
Pre-emergence: atrazine (Tiw et al., 1994)
Post-emergence: terbuthylazine (Kon et al., 1995)
Pre-emergence: imazethapyr, pendimethalin, imazethapyr+pendimethalin (Tjitrosemito, 1990)
Post-emergence: imazethapyr (Tjitrosemito, 1990)
Soil incorporated: dinitramine+diuron, trifluralin+diuron (Victoria et al., 1982)
Pre-emergence: diethatyl (Cruz and Lederman, 1981)
Post-emergence: lactofen (Gomes et al., 1991)
Post-emergence: oxyfluorfen (Sanusi and Sabur, 1987)
ReferencesTop of page
Backer RC; Bakhuizen van den Brink; RC, 1965. Flora of Java Vol. II, Angiospermae, families 111-160. Groningen, The Netherlands: N.V.P. Noordhoff.
Barnes DE; Chan LG, 1990. Common Weeds of Malaysia and their Control. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ancom Berhad Persiaran Selangor.
Bayer, 1992. Important Crops of the World and their Weeds. 2nd edn. Leverkusen, Federal Republic of Germany: Business Group Crop Protection Bayer AG.
Chee YK, 1994. Competitive effects of weeds on young rubber, In: Rajan A, Ibrahim Y, eds. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Plant Protection in the Tropics. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Plant Protection Society, 195-197.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Harada J; Paisooksantivatana Y; Zunsontiporn, 1987. Weeds in the Highlands of Northern Thailand. National Weed Science Research Institute Project. Bangkok, Thailand: Department of Agriculture.
Henderson MR, 1974. Malayan Wild Flowers: Dicotyledons. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The Malayan Nature Society.
Holm L, 1982. The biology and distribution of some weeds important to the tropics. In: Heong KL, Lee BS, Lim TM, Teoh CH, Ibrahim Y, ed. Proceedings of the International Conference on Plant Protection in the Tropics. Malaysian Plant Protection Society Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, 85-97
Khairuddin H; Teoh CH, 1992. Evaluation of new herbicides for general used control in oil palm. Planter, 68(794):257-269.
Kon KF; Tiw KP; Allard JL, 1995. Adapted weed management: Long-term effects on weed flora, yield and profitability. In: Proceedings of the 15th APWSS Conference. Tsukuba, Japan: Asia-Pacific Weed Science Society, 438-443.
Li GenYou; Chen ZhengHai; Yan FuBin; Lin XueFeng; Zhong TaiLin; Ma DanDan, 2006. New geographical distribution plants from Wenling in Zhejiang. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry College, 23(5):592-594. http://zjlx.chinajournal.net.cn
Lim FW; Allard JL; Kon KF, 1995. FOLAR 525 FW for weed management in oil palm and rubber. Planter (in press).
Lorenzi H, 1982. Weeds of Brazil, terrestrial and aquatic, parasitic, poisonous and medicinal. (Plantas daninhas de Brasil, terrestres, aquaticas, parasitas, toxicas e medicinais.) Nova Odessa, Brazil: H. Lorenzi, 425 pp.
Michael PW, 19??. The instability of the botanical names of important weeds a nuisance to weed scientist. In: Proceedings of the 13th APWSS Conference. Jakarta, Indonesia: Asia-Pacific Weed Science Society (in press).
Salamero J; Marnotte P; Le Boureois T; Carrara A, 1997. Practical identification key for 14 Rubiaceae weed species of western and central Africa. Agriculture et Development, Special issue May, 1997:54-61.
Sanusi M; Sabur AM, 1987. Efikasi herbisida oxyfluorfen terhadap gulma para areal tanaman the muda. Bulletin Penelitian Gulma, 1:42-29.
Scholaen S; Koch W, 1988. Changes in weed population after transforming a rubber plantation into arable land applying conservation practices. In: Proceedings of the Second Tropical Weed Science Conference. Phuket, Thailand: Weed Science Society of Thailand, 178-190.
Suryaningtyas H; Terry PJ, 1993. Critical period of weed competition in rubber seedlings. Brighton crop protection conference, weeds. Proceedings of an international conference, Brighton, UK, 22-25 November 1993 Farnham, UK; British Crop Protection Council (BCPC), Vol. 3:1177-1181
Suwanarak KS; Supasilapa H; Hiranpradit H; Kongsaengdao S, 1988. Efficiency of certain herbicides in rambutan orchards. In: Proceedings of the Second Tropical Weed Science Conference. Phuket, Thailand: Weed Science Society of Thailand.
Tiw KP; Allard JL; Kon KF, 1994. Weed management in full and zero tillage: comparative efficiency and weed dynamics. In: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Plant Protection in the Tropics. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Plant Protection in the Tropics, 228-230.
Tjitrosoedirdjo SS, 1992. Borreria latifolia (Aubl.) K. Sch. Weed Info Sheet No. 13. Bogor, Indonesia: The Southeast Asian Weed Information Centre (SEAWIC).
Verdcourt B, 1976. Rubiaceae. Part 1. In: Polhill RM, ed. Flora of Tropical East Africa. London, UK: Crown Agents, 1-414.
Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.
Yang ZN, 1978. The use of mixtures of glyphosate with 2, 4-D, linuron and ammonium sulphate to control weeds in rubber plantations. Report of the completed assignment, Training Course on Weed Scince, Biotrop, Newsletter, No. 23, 8.
Barnes DE, Chan LG, 1990. Common Weeds of Malaysia and their Control., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Ancom Berhad Persiaran Selangor.
Bayer, 1992. Important Crops of the World and their Weeds. In: Leverkusen, Federal Republic of Germany: Business Group Crop Protection Bayer AG,
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Gomes J M, Silva J F da, Casali V W D, Condé A R, 1991. Chemical control of weeds in direct sowing of onion (Allium cepa L.). (Controle químico de plantas daninhas na semeadura direta da cebola (Allium cepa L.).). Revista Ceres. 38 (217), 178-194.
Li GenYou, Chen ZhengHai, Yan FuBin, Lin XueFeng, Zhong TaiLin, Ma DanDan, 2006. New geographical distribution plants from Wenling in Zhejiang. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry College. 23 (5), 592-594. http://zjlx.chinajournal.net.cn
Verdcourt B, 1976. (Rubiaceae. Part 1). In: Flora of Tropical East Africa, [ed. by Polhill RM]. London, UK: Crown Agents. 1-414.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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