Species Descriptions

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Stachytarpheta jamaicensis



Stachytarpheta jamaicensis L.



S. jamaicensis  
S. jamaicensis plants in flower
Credit: Clyde Imada, Bishop Museum

Common names: Blue snakeweed, bastard vervain, blue porterweed, Brazilian tea, Jamaica vervain, joee, light blue snakeweed, devil's coach whip.

Synonyms: Stachytarpheta indica (L.) Vahl, Valerianioides jamaicensis (L.) Medic., Valerianoides jamaicensis (L.) Kuntze, Verbena jamaicense L.

Life form: Herb



Dispersal: Seeds spread by movement of soil and water. Introduced by humans for ornamental purposes.

Reproduction: Blue or pink flowers, pollinated by butterflies. Seeds contained within black fruit, which is 4 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.

Herbivores: No information available.

Resistant stages: No information available.



Native habitat: No information available.

Habitat occupied in invaded range: Disturbed areas, open areas, pastures

Habitat requirements:

Altitude Up to 700 metres above sea level.
Light Prefers partial shade.
Temperature No information available.
Annual rainfall No information available.
Soil Prefers sandy soils.



Native to tropical America

Introduced range: Invasive in southeast Asia, Australia, Hawaii, Micronesia, Cook Islands and other Pacific Ocean Islands. Introduced but not considered invasive in East Africa.



Ecosystem: Rapidly invades disturbed areas

Health, social and economic: No information available.



Mechanical: Small infestations can be removed manually before seeds form.

Chemical: 2,4-D amine at 2.2 1/ha or 22 ml/10 L to cover 100 square metres. This can be used on seedlings and young plants, and is most effective when sprayed in the summer. Control of the similar species S. cayennens involves the use of translocated herbicides, including 2,4-D and Glyphosate at standard rates, which may be effective for controlling S. jamaicensis.

Biological: No information available.



Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER), 2005. Available from http://www.hear.org/Pier/species/stachytarpheta_jamaicensis.htm (Accessed August 2006).

Gilman, E.F., 1999. Stachytarpheta jamaicensis. University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service - Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Available from http://hort.ufl.edu/shrubs/STAJAMA.PDF (Accessed August 2006).

Land Protection Australia, 2006. Snakeweed and its control. Land Protection, Queensland Goverment, Australia. Available from http://www.nrm.qld.gov.au/factsheets/pdf/pest/pp52.pdf (Accessed August 2006).

Seidemann, J., 2005. World Spice Plants: Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.


Last updated October 2006

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