Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Plains, Cultivated"
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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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"Kerala: Alapuzha, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram Tamil Nadu: All districts"
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Distribution: The Malay Islands and the coastal forests of the Andamans. Cultivars (Pisonia alba Span.) are found in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

An unarmed evergreen tree, up to 12 m tall. Young shoots and inflorescence pubescent. Anthocarp clavate, 5-Tibbed, the angles with only 1 row of prickles.
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Description

Trees to 14(-30) m; trunk 30-50(-70) cm in diam. Bark white-gray, with conspicuous furrows and large leaf-scars; puberulous to nearly glabrous, lenticels conspicuous; branches unarmed. Petiole 1-8 cm; leaf blade elliptic, oblong, or ovate, (7-)10-20(-30) × (4-)8-15(-20) cm, papery or membranous, puberulous or glabrescent, lateral veins 8-10 pairs, base rounded or slightly cordate, mostly oblique, margin entire, apex acute to acuminate. Cymes terminal, 1-4 × 3-5 cm; peduncle ca. 1.5 cm, with light brown hairs. Flowers bisexual. Pedicel 1-1.5 mm, apex with 2-4 oblong bracteoles. Perianth tube funnelform, ca. 4 mm, 5-lobed, with 5 rows of black glands. Stamens 6-10, exserted. Stigma fimbriate, included. Fruit clavate, ca. 1.2 cm × 2.5 mm, 5-ribbed, with sessile glands, without persistent perianth, rib with a row of viscid prickles, hairy between the ribs. Seed 9-10 × 1.5-2 mm. Fl. summer, fr. late summer-autumn.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Synonym

Ceodes grandis (R. Brown) D. Q. Lu.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat & Distribution

Forests. Hainan (Xisha Qundao), E Taiwan [India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka; NE Australia, Madagascar, Maldives, Pacific Islands].
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per. Feb.-March.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pisonia grandis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Pisonia grandis

Pisonia grandis is a species of flowering tree in the Bougainvillea family, Nyctaginaceae.

Description[edit]

The tree has broad, thin leaves, smooth bark and bears clusters of green sweet-smelling flowers that mature into sticky barbed seeds.

Dispersal occurs when seeds stick to bird feathers. Vegetative reproduction frequently results when fallen branches sprout or basal shoots develop into new trees.

Distribution[edit]

Pisonia trees are distributed throughout the coral cays of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The species often dominates mature coral cay vegetation, growing in dense, thick strands up to 20 m (66 ft) tall. Pisonia wood is rather weak and soft and decays rapidly when the trees fall.

Pisonia forests are a common nesting site for seabirds. One of the best remaining Pisonia forests can be found on Palmyra Atoll.

St. Pierre Island, Farquhar Group, was once covered by a Pisonia grandis forest. This forest disappeared after guano mining between 1906 and 1972. The natural vegetation had to be destroyed in order to scrape the guano and the island's landscape became barren.[1]

Uses[edit]

The leaves are traditionally used as a leaf vegetable in some countries.[2] They were part of the traditional Maldivian cuisine in dishes such as mas huni.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Piggott, C.J. (1961): Notes on some of the Seychelles Islands, Indian Ocean. Atoll Research Bulletin 83: 1-10. PDF fulltext
  2. ^ Capricornia Cuisine: Bush Tucker in Central Queensland
  3. ^ Xavier Romero-Frias, The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom, Barcelona 1999, ISBN 84-7254-801-5
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Notes

Comments

In the Xisha Qundao (part of the South China Sea Islands archipelago), Pisonia grandis is a dominant tree in the forests, often forming pure stands.
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Comments

The ‘lettuce tree or the Molluccan cabbage tree’ is sometimes grown in gardens. Though uncommon, it is reportedly cultivated at the Gandhi Gardens, Karachi. The older leaves ate lettuce-green and the younger yellowish or white; said to be eaten by natives in Bali.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Unclear if it is native or introduced to Hawaii.

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