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   Paederia foetida (vine, climber)     
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      Line Drawing (University of Florida) - Click for full size   Skunk vine flowers (Photo: Paul D. Pratt, Ph.D., Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Click for full size   Skunk vine infestation (Photo: Dorothy Brazis, University of Florida) - Click for full size   Skunk vine showing its leaves and flowers (Photo: Ken A. Langeland, University of Florida, www.forestryimages.org) - Click for full size   Skunk vine flowers (Photo: Paul D. Pratt, Ph.D., Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Click for full size   Skunk vine growing over native forest in central Florida (Photo: Ken A. Langeland, University of Florida, www.forestryimages.org) - Click for full size   Skunk vine flowers (Photo: Gerald D. Carr, University of Hawaii, www.forestryimages.org) - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Paederia foetida L.
    Synonyms: Paederia chinensis Hance, Paederia scandans (Lour.) Merr., Paederia tomentosa Blume
    Common names: Chinese fever vine, skunk vine, stinkvine
    Organism type: vine, climber
    Paederia foetida is an aggressive, competitive vine. It can grow high into the canopy of trees in a variety of habitats. The vines climb over shrubs and trees, weighing them down and impeding regeneration. Paederia foetida also invades pastureland and is troublesome along roads and on power lines. Chemicals are often used as an effective method of controlling Paederia foetida. The seeds of Paederia foetida may be dispersed by birds and are also spread by the transport of rooted fragments. Paederia foetida has also been cultivated as an ornamental.
    Description
    Leaf stalks of P. foetida are commonly up to 6cm long. Leaves and stems have a disagreeable odour, especially when crushed. The flowers are small, greyish pink or lilac in colour and occur in broad or long, "leafy," curving clusters. Petals are joined to form a corolla with 5 spreading lobes. Fruits persist through winter and are shiny brown, and nearly round, and are typically 0.7cm wide. Inside are two seeds that are black, round and often dotted with white, needle-shaped crystals (Langeland et al. UNDATED).
    Similar Species
    Paederia cruddasiana

    More
    Occurs in:
    natural forests, ruderal/disturbed, wetlands
    Habitat description
    P. foetida may grow high into the trees in a variety of habitats, from mesic hammocks to xeric sand hill communities, although it appears to prefer sunny floodplains and bottomlands. P. foetida can even grow under water (IFAS, 2001). It has been observed that P. foetida occurs frequently in tree gaps, and other disturbed areas (Langeland and Burks, 2000).
    General impacts
    Starr et al. (2003) state that, "P. foetida thrives in a variety of habitats and exhibit aggressive growth. Vines climb on desirable shrubs and trees, weighing them down and impeding regeneration below the dense shade. " P. foetida invades pasture land and causes problems along highways and on power lines. In the United States P. foetida has been observed to be the cause of smothering out portions of one of the few remaining populations of the endemic, federally endangered Cooley's water willow Justicia cooleyi (Langeland and Burks, 2000).
    Geographical range
    Native Range: Asia (USDA-GRIN, 2003)
    Known Introduced Range: North America (USDA-GRIN, 2003), and South America (Langeland and Burks, 2000)
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    Agriculture: Langeland and Burks (2000) state that, "It was introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture before 1987 as a potential fiber plant."
    For ornamental purposes: Starr et al. (2003) states that, "P. foetida is dispersed throughout the world by humans who grow and cultivate the plant for ornamental or other purposes."


    Local dispersal methods
    Consumption/excretion: The seeds of P. foetida may be dispersed by birds, and are also spread by accidental transport of rooted fragments (Langeland and Burks, 2000)
    For ornamental purposes (local): Starr et al. (2003) states that, "P. foetida is dispersed throughout the world by humans who grow and cultivate the plant for ornamental or other purposes."
    Transportation of habitat material (local): The seeds of P. foetida may be dispersed by birds, and are also spread by accidental transport of rooted fragments (Langeland and Burks, 2000)
    Management information
    Preventative measures: A Risk Assessment of Paederia foetida 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 21 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."

    Control of the plant by chemical or mechanical means has to take into consideration damages to vegetation supporting the vine.

    Chemical: Triclopyr and glyphosate products have been used for controlling P. foetida (Starr et al. 2003) ). Langeland et al. (UNDATED) point out that complete control cannot be achieved with a single application and follow-up applications are necessary.

    Physical: They also add that hand removal of P. foetida in landscape situations will be necessary but large-scale hand removal in natural areas has proven ineffective. Flooding decreases vigor but P. foetida remain alive when submersed for at least 192 days.

    Reproduction
    The seeds of P. foetida may be dispersed by birds, and are also spread by accidental transport of rooted fragments (Langeland and Burks, 2000). Starr et al. (2003) states that, "P. foetida is dispersed throughout the world by humans who grow and cultivate the plant for ornamental or other purposes."
    Lifecycle stages
    P. foetida is a fast growing vine, that shows a wide ranging adaptability to different light , soil, and salt conditions. It is able to establish and grow above the frost line. It is also sensitive to fire. P. foetida flowers and fruits mostly in summer and fall (Langeland and Burks, 2000).
    Reviewed by: Paul D. Pratt, Ph.D. USDA/ARS. Invasive Plant Research Laboratory Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA
    Compiled by: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Last Modified: Thursday, 23 March 2006


ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland