Leaves ovate to oblong-ovate, cm long, cm wide, 5-nerved, upper surface sparsely strigose, lower surface finely bristly, margins ciliate, subentire to crenulate-denticulate, apex acute to short-acuminate, base rounded to subcordate, petioles 0. Pedicels 0. Berries mm long. Seeds 0.
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Top of page Genetics A small study of genetic variation within and between invasive exotic populations in Hawaii and native populations in Costa Rica found that variation was low throughout, also concluding that genetic variation was unrelated to invasiveness in C. Some variation in shade tolerance, however, cannot be excluded Binggeli, , though this was not confirmed in studies by DeWalt et al. The chromosome number reported for C.
Physiology and Phenology In Hawaii, flowering and fruiting occurs all year round where there is no dry season and rainfall exceeds mm per year. In Brazil, the plant flowers throughout the year Melo et al. However, flowing and fruiting is periodic with annual rainfall down to mm. Reproductive Biology A mature plant can produce over blue-black berries mm long per year, each containing over seeds 0.
Seeds form a very large seed bank where they remain viable for up to 4 years. In Hawaii, long-distance dispersal is carried out by human means, such as shoes and vehicle wheels, and seeds are locally disseminated by birds and feral pigs which can also carry seeds in their fur.
In the Mascarene it is dispersed by the introduced bird Pycnonotus jocosus Clergeau and Mandon-Dalger, The plant is agamospermous and exhibits a high level of male sterility, as indicated by its low pollen viability Melo et al. There was no mortality over 2 months. Observations supported the view that establishment is largely assisted by light availability and disturbance by wild pigs. Similarly, in the submontane forest of the East Usambaras, Tanzania, C.
Seedling densities can be extremely high, Ashton et al. Environmental Requirements In the native range, C. Similarly, in the naturalized range C.
On the Seychelles the shrub is absent from drier areas. In areas where a dry season occurs flowering ceases. In Jamaica its altitudinal distribution ranges between 30 and m. In the Comoros it is more commonly found between and m Roby and Dossar, It does not appear to tolerate salt spray. Although the plant thrives in full sunlight, it is also shade tolerant and is found in low densities in open forested areas, forest plantations and roadsides. Most tropical island forest areas appear to be susceptible to C.
In Hawaii all new instances of C. If seeds are present they germinate rapidly and within 2 years the disturbed area can become smothered.
However, on the steep slopes of the Seychelles enough light reaches the ground for C. In many parts of the invaded range the species regenerates readily in treefall gaps Ashton et al.
Associations In the West Indies, C. Myster reported that in Puerto Rico on an abandoned pasture it was still increasing in cover and dominating after 5 years after abandonment. It is also subject to strong competition from other Melastomataceae. However, in parts of the Seychelles, numbers of exotic C.
Physical description[ edit ] Clidemia hirta is a densely branching long-lived perennial shrub normally growing 0. In more shaded habitats it grows much taller than it does in exposed areas, where it typically grows less than 1 m tall. The younger stems are rounded and are covered in large, stiff, brown or reddish-colored hairs they are strigose. The oppositely arranged simple leaves are borne on stalks. They are oval or egg-shaped in outline with broad end at base, with pointed tips, and almost entire to finely toothed margins. Their upper surfaces are sparsely covered in hairs, similar to those found on the stems, while their lower surfaces and margins are more densely hairy. The leaves also have a somewhat wrinkled appearance and five distinct veins that run in an almost parallel fashion from the leaf bases to their tips.