Invasive Alien Species

Species Name: Mikania micrantha

Family Name:
Asteraceae /Compositae
Central and South America
Vigorous twining vine, or prostate in the absence of support, then rooting along the stems.  Leaves opposite, stalked, triangular-cordate, with toothed margins; somewhat foetid-smelling; stipules pale-green, fringed at the margins, joining the bases of the paired leaf-stalks, head small, 4-flowered, in terminal and axillary paniculate inflorescences; receptacle naked; involucre of 4 nearly equal bracts with one smaller outer bract.  Flowers all alike; corolla white. Achenes  black, with pappus of whitish hairs.
Invaded Habitat:
Disturbed forest, stream banks, roadsides, pastures, plantations and cultivated crops.
It was introduced from Paraguay in 1949 to Bogor Botanical Garden
and in 1956 it was used as a soil covers in rubber and now spread throughout Indonesia. In Papua it is found in Merauke, Timika, Nabire and Sorong In Indonesia M. micrantha displaced the native species M. cordata. (Waterhouse, 2003).
Found at the humid, sunny or shaded habitat at 0-2000 m altitude. It is a vigorously creeping and climbing weed, smothering shrubs and small trees and building dense thickets by the numerous intermingled stems and stolons.  It spreads rapidly after disturbances such as fires and populations expand by  vegetative  growth, preventing any natural forest regeneration.  It flowers and fruits throughout the year and is ecologically a variable species.  Seeds are wind dispersed.
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