Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Euphorbia pulcherrima
Willd. ex Klotzsch, Euphorbiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Low risk, score: -7 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))
Accept, score -3 (Go to the risk assessment (U.S. (Florida)))

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: yi pin hong

English: Christmas flower, Christmas star, lobsterplant, Mexican flameleaf, painted leaf, poinsettia, winter rose, yellow poinsettia

Maori (Cook Islands): tiare ‘āpa mata‘iti, tiare ‘āpa-mata‘iti

Palauan: becheselrak

Samoan: mć tausaga, mć tausaga

Spanish: corona del Inca, flor de navidad, flor de Panamá, flor de Pascua, nochebuena

Tongan: fe‘ofa‘aki, lave‘imoa

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "The species is a tall, rangy shrub that grows to a height of 10 ft (3.1 m). It has large, dark green, oval leaves that are "toothed" on the sides and pointed at the tips. They emerge from smooth, green erect stems. Flowers (or cyathia) are borne at the stem tips in winter. The actual flowers are quite small (they are the yellow structures at the center of the brilliantly colored "bracts"). The bracts are actually modified leaves-in the species there usually are 8 to 10 bracts that are 4-7 in (10.2-17.8 cm) long. The showy colored part of poinsettias that most people think are the flowers are actually these colored bracts (modified leaves). Many plants in this family ooze a milky sap. (Scheper, J., 1998, and Christman, S., 1999.)" (National Tropical Botanical Garden)

"Shrub to 3 m high (10 ft) with milky sap.  Leaves simple, alternate, blade elliptic, ovate, or oblanceolate, 6-25 cm long (2 1/2 - 10 in), often with one or two lobes on the margins.  Flowers seasonally in winger; flowers borne in clusters of cup-shaped cyathia forming opposite an upper leaf, above the leaf-like bracts that are red or occasionally yellow, white, or pink, and in some forms double-flowered.  Corolla absent, but the involucre bears a conspicuous yellow gland.  Fruit a subglobose, deeply three-lobed schizocarp 1.3-2 cm long (1/2 - 3/4 in)."  (Whistler, 2000; pp. 205-206).

Habitat/ecology:  "Fertile soils in sunny places are preferred" (Whistler, 2000; p. 206). 

"In Chile this species grows in the following environmental conditions:  Coastal areas, 0 - 500 m.  Somewhat dry areas where the drought may last 3-5 months, precipitations of 400-800 mm. are concentrated in winter.  Fully exposed to the sun, level areas or slopes facing north"  (Chileflora).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Tropical areas of Central America and Mexico" (National Tropical Botanical Garden)

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
cultivated
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (pp. 483, 529, 553)
Voucher cited: Danton I(5/313)1657. "En RC se encuentran pocos ejemplares que se mantienen en el pueblo de San Juan Bautista.  Pero no parecen estar en las mejores condiciones para propagarse".
Cook Islands
Northern Cook Islands
Manihiki Atoll introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
‘Atiu Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Miti‘aro Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island introduced
cultivated
McCormack, Gerald (2013)
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)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 86)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 138)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1968) (voucher ID: BNM 328)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia pulcherrima
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 559-570)
Vouchers cited: DA 12146, DA 16945, DA 12080
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Taravai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Bora Bora Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Huahine Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Moorea Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Cultivée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (pp. 375-376)
Common in gardens.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 138)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Jaluit (Jãlwõj) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 138)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 138)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 100)
Not seen on this survey and may no longer be present.
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 93)
Rare, possibly extirpated.
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 131)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 52)
Vouchers cited: Baumann 13338, MacKee 23719, MacKee 43343
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 90)
Rarely cultivated. Voucher cited: CHR 169729
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 76)
Vouchers cited: Yuncker 9801 (BISH), Yuncker 10187 (BISH)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
Raulerson, L./Rinehart, A. F./Falanruw, M. C. (1996) (p. 28)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 138)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
invasive
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 317)
Abundant about the villages of the natives and in the gardens of the whites.
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 463)
Cultivated for ornamental purposes, probably introduced about 1870, as yet nowhere spontaneous.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 65-66)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
cultivated
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 73)
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands introduced
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 169)
"Cultivated throughout Tonga".
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1989) (voucher ID: PTBG 3304)
Taxon name on voucher: Euphorbia pulcherrima
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Johnston Atoll
Johnston Island introduced
cultivated
Amerson, A. Binion, Jr./Shelton, Philip C. (1976) (p. 57)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-8)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1959) (p. 15)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1969) (p. 10)
Not seen in 1961, 1963.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) introduced
Belov, Michail (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 181)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 40)
Cultivated only
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 114)


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This page was created on 20 OCT 2004 and was last updated on 9 JAN 2011.