Invasive Alien Species

Species Name: Piper aduncum

Family Name:

Arthante adunca (L.) Miquel
Piper angustifolium Ruiz & Pavon
P. elongatum Vahl.
P. celtidifolium Kunth

South America
Small tree, foliage and twigs aromatics, 3-8 m tall. Leaves alternate,  broadly lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, tapering into long tips,  obliquely cordate base and asymmetric, lower surface between lateral nerves rather densely covered with longish, softly hairy beneath, 18-24 cm by 7-10.5 cm; petiole 0.25 - 0.75  cm. Inflorescence a leaf-opposed, curved spike when mature, white to pale yellow, mature ones 12-15 cm;  flowers crowded in regular transverse ranks.  Perianth absent; usually 4 staments; ovary and berry glabrous.  Fruit a1-seeded berry, blackish when ripe.  Seeds brown to black, 0.7-1.25 mm long, compressed, with a reticulate surface.
Invaded Habitat:
Forests and forests edges, slopes, disturbed sites. All the gaps in the forest of Toraut in North Sulawesi and Central Sulawesi were colonized by P. aduncum beside other species of Macaranga and grasses. It seems P. aduncum found their conditions eminently suitable to the extent of out-competing the relatively indigenous species of pioneer tree. In certain areas it grews in pure stands of secondary forest adjacent to undisturbed forest. It competitiveness is quite remarkable, this success is partly because P. aduncum grows very quickly and mature flower and fruit continously both in its native habitat and in Indonesia
P. aduncum a century ago introduced in the Botanic Garden at Bogor, since many years naturalized in the environs of Bogor. Spread throughout Indonesia.
Seeds are bird-dispersed; and also introduced to new locations as a contaminant of machinery and materials. The spread at the logging area is associated with movement of logging equipment
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  3. Waterhouse, B.M. & A.A. Mitchell.  1998.  Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy.  Weeds Target List.  Miscellaneous Publication 6/98.
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