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   Antigonon leptopus (vine, climber)  français     
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      Although the flowers of this coarse vine are showier than average for Polygonaceae, a closer view reveals that their construction is quite typical for the family, note 5-parted perianth and eight stamens (Photo: Dr. Gerald D. Carr, University of Hawaii at Manoa) - Click for full size   Herbarium voucher image from Bishop Museum (Antigonon leptopus); BISH #640483 Bishop Museum, Herbarium Pacificum - Click for full size   Antigonon leptopus or Mexican creeper (Photo: Dr. Gerald D. Carr, University of Hawaii at Manoa) - Click for full size   Antigonon leptopus (Photo: Jim Space, www.hear.org/pier) - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn.
    Synonyms: Antigonon cinerascens M.Martens & Galeotti, Antigonon cordatum M.Martens & Galeotti, Antigonon platypus Hook. & Arn., Corculum leptopum (Hook. & Arn.) Stuntz, Corculum leptopus (Hook. & Arn.) Stuntz
    Common names: antigone (French-Reunion (La Réunion)), antigone à pied grêle (French), chain-of-love (English), confederate vine (English), coral bells (English), coral vine (English), corallita (English), dilngau ( Palau), flores ka'dena (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), hearts on a chain (English), kadena de amor, liane antigone (French-Reunion (La Réunion)), love-vine (English), Mexican creeper (English), mountain rose (English), queen's jewels (English), rohsapoak ( Pohnpei), Sandwich Island creeper (English-India)
    Organism type: vine, climber
    Antigonon leptopus is a smothering vine that invades disturbed areas and forest edges. It produces many seeds, which are spread by water currents and animals that consume the fruit. It has become invasive in some Pacific Islands, and is naturalised in many other parts of the Pacific.
    Description
    Antigonon leptopus is a "Robust vine growing to 10m long or more; petioles 0.6-1.5cm long; leaf blades 2.5-7.5 (10)cm long, cordate-ovate, hastate-ovate, or triangular, prominent reticulately veined, acutish to acuminate (and often apiculate), the lower ones much larger; inflorescence paniculate, the branches bearing flowers in clusters along the rachis, the rachis tip tendrillate; flowers bright pink or white, enlarging 1-4 (5)cm long; achenes conical, sharply 3-angled above, calyx 6mm long, much exceeded by the veiny, persistent, enlarged perianth." (Welsh, 1998, in PIER, 2009)
    Occurs in:
    ruderal/disturbed, urban areas
    Habitat description
    Prefers dry to moist lowland areas and limestone (basic) soils (PIER, 2009).
    General impacts
    Antigonon leptopus is a smothering vine that invades disturbed areas and forest edges, (PIER, 2009).
    Uses
    Ornamental
    Notes
    Extensively invading disturbed areas and forest edges on the northern half of Guam; much less so on Saipan, Tinian and Yap. Although only a few cultivated plants were noted on Pohnpei, it is apparently not a recent introduction, as it was noted in cultivation by Glassman (1952, in PIER, 2009). Invasive in the Virgin Islands (Fred Kraus, communication to Aliens Listserver, in PIER, 2009). Often escapes cultivation, (PIER, 2009).
    Geographical range
    Native range: Mexico, now common in tropical and warm countries.
    Known introduced range: American Samoa , Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Galapagos Islands, Guam, Hawai‘i, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Midway Island, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Island, Samoa , Tonga.
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    Internet sales/postal services: (Plantseed.com, no date)


    Local dispersal methods
    Consumption/excretion: Fruits and seeds are eaten and spread by domestic and wild animals such as birds and pigs. (PIER, 2002)
    Garden escape/garden waste: Often escapes cultivation. (PIER, 2003)
    Water currents: Seeds float on water, which helps transport them to new locations (PIER, 2002).
    Management information
    Preventative measures: A Risk Assessment of Antigonon leptopus for Hawai‘i and other Pacific islands was prepared by Dr. Curtis Daehler (UH Botany) with funding from the Kaulunani Urban Forestry Program and US Forest Service. The alien plant screening system is derived from Pheloung et al. (1999) with minor modifications for use in Pacific islands (Daehler et al. 2004). The result is a score of 19 and a recommendation of: "Likely to cause significant ecological or economic harm in Hawai‘i and on other Pacific Islands as determined by a high WRA score, which is based on published sources describing species biology and behaviour in Hawai‘i and/or other parts of the world."

    Physical: Cutting alone is ineffective. Underground tubers must be removed or plants will re-sprout (PIER, 2009).

    Reproduction
    Prolific seed producer. Seeds float on water, which helps transport them to new locations. Fruits and seeds are eaten and spread by domestic and wild animals such as birds and pigs, (PIER, 2009).
    Compiled by: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment
    Last Modified: Tuesday, 28 September 2010


ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland