Invasive Alien Species

Species Name: Cryptostegia glandiflora

Family Name:
Asclepiadaceae
Synonym:
Cryptostegia glaberrima Hochr.
Origin:
Madagascar.
Description:
Perennial, woody climber, up to 15 m tall or a many-stemmed shrub of 1-3 m tall. Stems arev either branched. Leaf-bearing and up to 2 m long, or unbranched, leafless, 3-8 m long and climbing over any support. Leaves opposite, oblong or ovate-oblong, shining, entire, 4-10 x 3-5.5 cm; petiole 0.5-1 cm. Inflorescence 6-12 flowered, corollas are white inside and pale purple out sides, 4-5 cm long, 5 cm in diameter; pedicel short. Fruits are greenish pods 10-12 x 3-4 cm, contains 200-250 seeds, borne in pairs on common stalks;  seeds flat, brown, 6-9 mm long.
Invaded Habitat:
Gardens, lawns.
Distribution:
In Java, 5-700 m altitude, it was introduced as an ornamental. Up to now there is no addition records of the herbarium since Backer & Bakhuizen van den Brink, 1965. However it may be already present outside of Java island and awaiting discovery. Recognition of this species is necessary before  the problems become bigger.
Ecology:
A fast growing vine, the climber forms dense impenetrable thickets and can smothers all native vegetations. Seeds are effectively dispersed by wind and water and can withstand periods of drought up to 8 months. Seedling growth rate is slow at first but increases rapidly thereafter and plants may reach 4-5 m height in the first year.
References:
  1. Backer , C. A. & R. C. Bakhuizen Van Den Brink.  1965.  Flora of Java. N.V. P. Noordhoff. Groningen, Netherlands.
  2. Lazarides, M. and B. Hince (eds).  1993.  CSIRO Handbook of Economic Plants of Australia.  CSIRO Publications.  Victoria, Australia. 
  3. Weber, E. 2003. Invasive Plant Species of the World. A Reference Guide      to Environmental Weeds. CAB International.