Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Alternanthera ficoidea
(L.) P. Beauv., Amaranthaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Alternanthera tenella Colla; Gomphrena ficoidea L.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: sanguinarea

Spanish: pata de paloma

Habit:  herb

Description:  "HerbStems decumbent to erect, mostly 3-10 dm long, moderately branched, glabrous below, generally pilose above and in leaf-axils, trichomes simple or minutely barbed near the base, internodes mostly 5-10 cm long.  Leaves oblanceolate or narrowly elliptic, acute and mucronate at apex, attenuate at base and narrowed along poorly defined petiole, subglabrous to pilose, mostly 2-6 cm long an d0.6-2.0 cm wide.  Flower heads axillary, sessile, subglobose to short-cylindric, 5-10 mm long, 5-7 mm wide.  Bract and bracteoles subequal in length, 3.0-3.5 mm long, scarious, with midrib excurrent in a sharp point, ca 4/5 as long as tepals, pilose; bract ovate, bracteoles narrowly ovate and boat-shaped. Tepals 5, outer tepals 3.5-4.5 mm long, acuminate and sharp-tipped, richly pilose with scaberulous trichomes, becoming tough and hardened in fruit with 3 prominent raised ribs; two innermost tepals keeled and narrowly boat-shaped, up to 1 mm shorter than outer ones.  Staminal tube ca 3 mm long, cleft to 3/4 or more of its length; stamens 5, filaments ca 2 mm long, strap-shaped, progressively wider below, anthers ca 1 mm long, oblong, 5 times or more as long as wide; pseudostaminodia equaling or exceeding stamens, ligulate, laciniate.  Ovary roundly obtriangular, style distinct, ca 0.3 mm long" (Elaisson, 1987; pp. 78-79).

Habitat/ecology:  (no habitat/ecology info known by PIER)

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Common and widespread species in the tropics of the New World and has spread to warm areas in some parts of the Old World" (Elaisson, 1987; pp. 78-79).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1966) (voucher ID: PTBG 26433)
Taxon name on voucher: Alternanthera tenella
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
As Alternanthera tenella
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 12)
As Alternanthera tenella Colla
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 98)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 61)
As Alternanthera tenella Colla
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Mili (Mile) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy/Vander Velde, Brian (2010) (p. A8)
As Alternanthera tenella Colla. Uncommon; few patches planted as groundcover by private homes.
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 84)
var. bettzickiana (Reg.) Backer
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (pp. 3-4)
cv. ‘Bettzickiana’. Planted for landscaping at the Capitol. Voucher: Lorence 9845 (PTBG, BNM, NY)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 138)
Taxon name on voucher: Alternanthera tenella
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (pp. 3-4)
cv. ‘Bettzickiana’.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (pp. 3-4)
cv. ‘Bettzickiana’.
Palau
Rock Islands (Chelbacheb)
Ngerchong Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 7)
cv. ‘Bettzickiana’. Voucher: Lorence 9869 (PTBG, BNM, BISH, NY, US)
Palau
Rock Islands (Chelbacheb)
Ngerchong Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 162)
Taxon name on voucher: Alternanthera tenella 'Bettzickiana'
Palau
Rock Islands (Chelbacheb)
Ngerchong Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 159)
Taxon name on voucher: Alternanthera tenella Colla
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 131)
Common in low lands, especially within the influence of brackish water.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Waterhouse, Barbara (year unknown)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 182)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 12)
Cultivated only

Comments:  A minor weed in northern Queensland (Barbara Waterhouse, pers. com.)


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This page was created on 9 AUG 2004 and was last updated on 12 OCT 2006.