Heliocarpus americanus was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the early 20th century for use in reforestation projects. It has since escaped into the wild and is now present on several of the main islands. Although it has been reported as a pest, it has not been reported to have any direct adverse effects on native species, and its removal is not currently a conservation priority. While many botanists have adopted the APG III system of classification for the orders and families of flowering plants which sinks the Tiliaceae into the Malvaceae Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, , the CAB Thesaurus continues to use the Cronquist system which treats them as separate families. Of the ten or so species in the genus Robyns, , H. The nomenclature of this species is somewhat confused.
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Heliocarpus americanus was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in the early 20th century for use in reforestation projects. It has since escaped into the wild and is now present on several of the main islands. Although it has been reported as a pest, it has not been reported to have any direct adverse effects on native species, and its removal is not currently a conservation priority.
While many botanists have adopted the APG III system of classification for the orders and families of flowering plants which sinks the Tiliaceae into the Malvaceae Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, , the CAB Thesaurus continues to use the Cronquist system which treats them as separate families.
Of the ten or so species in the genus Robyns, , H. The nomenclature of this species is somewhat confused. The genus Heliocarpus was erected by Carl Linnaeus.
Although, as E. Although there have been some differences in opinion, the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project considers the material in the Clifford herbarium to be the type specimen, and this opinion is gaining acceptance. Both of those two names have continued to be used for the widespread species, with authorship of H. Heliocarpus americanus is a medium to large tree, reaching 6—30 m tall Robyns, Young stems and branches are densely covered with reddish hairs of various forms, but these are gradually lost, leaving older branches almost hairless Watson, ; Lay, ; Robyns, The leaves of H.
The blade of the leaf is typically 16—20 cm long by 14—18 cm wide Lay, ; Robyns, , with pointed tips and a deeply cordate base. The petiole leaf stalk is usually 6—8 cm long Lay, ; Robyns, The hermaphroditic flowers are around 10 mm in diameter, with four sepals, four petals and 12—16 stamens; the pistillate flowers have four sepals, no petals, and numerous staminodes in place of the stamens Lay, ; Robyns, The fruit of H. This distinguishes Heliocarpus from the closely related Triumfetta , in which the seed is entirely covered with bristles, forming a burr Lay, Heliocarpus americanus has a broad native distribution in the Neotropics, stretching from Mexico in the north, through Central America, and along the edges of the Andes to Argentina and northern parts of Paraguay in the south Lay, It also extends across the mountains of northern South America, reaching as far east as Venezuela and Trinidad Lay, It is typically found at elevations above m — sometimes exceeding m — in the tropical parts of its range, but descends to lower elevations in more temperate regions Lay, 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. It was introduced as an ornamental tree as part of a reforestation scheme, and was first recorded as naturalised in Wester, In , it was also discovered on the island of Lanai Oppenheimer, The recent, and presumably inadvertent, spread of H.
Given its anemochory wind dispersal , and history of spread even between islands, it is likely that H. It is unlikely to spread over longer distances unless it is deliberately introduced. Heliocarpus americanus grows natively on steep slopes, either in cloud forest or rain forest, or along streams at the edge of forestry. It can also be a pioneer tree in more open areas Gargiullo et al. It is found at elevations between m and m in the core of its range, but occurs at lower elevations towards its latitudinal extremes; in Argentina, it is generally found below m Lay, In Hawaii, it is found at low to mid elevations, in disturbed parts of wetter mesic forests Motooka et al.
On the island of Hawaii Big Island , it is found in native forest Imada et al. The flowering time of H. In northern parts, it flowers in December and January and retains its fruit into mid-March; further south, it flowers from May to June, and the fruit last until the end of September Lay, The major vector for transporting H. The planting of H. More recently, however, the species has demonstrated the ability to disperse itself, both in escaping from plantations, and in colonising new islands.
It is known to be among the earlier colonisers of disturbed ground in parts of its native range Grau et al. This dispersal ability is largely attributable to the seeds, which are well adapted for wind-dispersal anemochory , through the ring of large bristles that project around the edge of the seeds Smith, Although H. Heliocarpus americanus has several small-scale economic uses. Its timber is similar to that of balsa Ochroma pyramidale , Malvaceae—Bombacoideae , and is used for construction, in papermaking, as firewood, and for floats and bottle-stoppers, as well as being a substitute for balsa in modelling Lay, ; Keyes-Hennin et al.
The bark of various Heliocarpus species is used to produce a fibre, which is used for making ropes and baskets Lay, ; Keyes-Hennin et al. Bark decoctions have been used against sickness in cattle and on sores Lay, In their native range, Heliocarpus species including H.
Its rapid growth and ecological versatility make H. The distinctive form of the fruit in this genus makes it unlikely to be confused with any other taxon except for pre-reproductive individuals. 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. There are no reports of management plans for controlling H. Seedlings are occasionally uprooted on sight, but not as part of any systematic eradication programme Imada et al. It might be possible to eradicate the species from Hawaii, but since it is already widespread and poses little obvious threat to the existing biota, conservation efforts are focussed initially on removing other species instead Imada et al.
No biological control agents against H. Despite H. Its response to fire is unknown, and there have been no investigations into biological control Smith, Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2 Baker EG, Two old American types. Journal of Botany, 36 A field guide to plants of Costa Rica. Grandtner MM, Chevrette J, Dictionary of Trees, Volume 2: South America. Nomenclature, taxonomy and ecology.
Academic Press, pp. Floristic and structural patterns along a chronosequence of secondary forest succession in Argentinian subtropical montane forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 95 2 ; 40 ref. IPNI, International Plant Names Index.
The white moho Heliocarpus sp. El Jonote Heliocarpus sp. Brenesia, Lay KK, A revision of the genus Heliocarpus L. Gdn, 36 4 Weeds of Hawaii's Pastures and Natural Areas; an identification and management guide. Oppenheimer H, New plant records from Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii for Bishop Museum Occasional Papers, Higher allocation to low cost chemical defenses in invasive species of Hawaii.
Journal of Chemical Ecology, 36 11 Robyns A, Flora of Panama Part VI. Family Sherley G, Invasive species in the Pacific: a technical review and draft regional strategy. Smith CW, Impact of alien plants on Hawaii's native biota. In: Hawaii's terrestrial ecosystems: preservation and management [ed.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, STRI Herbarium. US Fish and Wildlife Service, In: Phyllostegia mollis no common name. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 13 pp. In: Schiedea hookeri no common name. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 20 pp.
In: Urera kaalae opuhe.
Heliocarpus americanus L. Malvaceae This species has been much confused with Heliocarpus popayanensis in the past and the two species have been considered to be conspecific. However, although there is no clear agreement amongst botanists, we are following the treatment in the on-line 'Flora Do Brasil' which holds them to be distinct and for Heliocarpus popayanensis to be the only species in S. America - this species being restricted to C. If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here. If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Heliocarpus americanus L.