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   Hiptage benghalensis (vine, climber, shrub)  français     
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      (Photo: Dr Gerald Carr, University of Hawai   (Photo: Dr Gerald Carr, University of Hawai   (Photo: Betsy H. Gagné) - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz.
    Synonyms: Banisteria benghalensis L., Banisteria benghalensis L., Banisteria tetraptera Sonnerat, Banisteria unicapsularis Lam., Gaertnera indica J.F.Gmel., Gaertnera obtusifolia (DC.) Roxb., Gaertnera racemosa Vahl, Hieracium × floribundum Wimm. & Grab. (pro sp.) [caespitosum × lactucella], Hiptage madablota Gaertn., Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz  forma cochinchinensis Pierre, Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz  forma latifolia Nied., Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz  forma macroptera (Merr.) Nied., Hiptage benghalensis (L.) Kurz  forma typica Nied., Hiptage javanica Blume, Hiptage macroptera Merr., Hiptage madablota Gaertn., Hiptage malaiensis Nied., Hiptage obtusifolia DC., Hiptage pinnata Elmer, Hiptage teysmannii Arènes, Molina racemosa Cav., Succowia fimbriata Dennst., Triopteris jamaicensis L.
    Common names: adimurtte (Kanarese-India), adirganti (Kanarese-India), atimukta (Hindi-India), benghalen-Liane (German), chandravalli (Sanskrit-India), haldavel (Malayalam-India), hiptage (English), kampti (Hindi-India), kamuka (Sanskrit-India), liana papillon (French-Reunion (La Réunion)), liane cythère (French-Reunion (La Réunion)), liane de cerf (French), liane du Bengale (French), liane fleur d'orange (French-Reunion (La Réunion)), madhalata (Hindi-India), madhavi (Gujrati-India), Madhavi (Kanarese-India), madhumalati (Malayalam-India), madmalati (Hindi-India), ragotpiti (Gujrati-India), vasantduti (Kanarese-India)
    Organism type: vine, climber, shrub
    Hiptage benghalensis is a native of India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. The genus name, Hiptage, is derived from the Greek "hiptamai" which means "to fly" and refers to its unique three-winged fruit known as "samara". Due to the beautiful unique form of its flowers, it is often cultivated as a tropical ornamental in gardens. It has been recorded as being a weed in Australian rainforests and is extremely invasive on Mauritius and Réunion, where it thrives in dry lowland forests, forming impenetrable thickets and smothering native vegetation.
    H. benghalensis is a high-climbing liana (woody, climbing vine) or large shrub, with white or yellowish hairs; leaves lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, to 20cm (8 in.) long; flowers pink to white, with yellow marks, in 10-30-flowered racemes (Bailey and Bailey 1976, in PIER, 2002). It has scandent branches up to 5m high. Leaves simple, opposite, blade usually elliptic and 6-18cm long (2.5-7 in) with an attenuate tip. The plant flowers intermittently during the year, and produces fragrant flowers borne in compact axillary racemes. The corolla consists of five free, elliptic to round, reflexed petals 1-1.7cm long (3/8-3/4 in), white with one petal yellow in the center, margins fringed. Fruit a samara with three spreading, papery oblanceolate to elliptic wing 2-5cm long (3/4-2 in) (Whistler 2000, in Starr et al. 2003).
    Occurs in:
    natural forests
    Habitat description
    Habitat variable (Bailey and Bailey, 1976, cited in PIER, 2002). Prefers climates ranging from warm temperate to tropical. Dry and moist areas from sea level to 1000m (3500 ft.) elevation in Hawai‘i (PIER, 2002).
    General impacts
    H. benghalensis is reported as invasive in Florida, Hawaii, La Réunion, Mauritius and Western Australia (Randall 2002, in Starr Starr and Loope 2003). The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC 2001) lists H. benghalensis as a category II plant, which are species that have shown a potential to disrupt native plant communities (Starr Starr and Loope 2003). Randall (2002) lists this species in the global compendium of weeds for Western Australia (Starr Starr and Loope 2003) and in tropical Australian rainforests it is a pest (Grice and Setter 2002). On Réunion island it spreads widely by its wind-dispersed seeds and it reported to climb over and smother native vegetation (PIER 2002, in Starr Starr and Loope 2003). It is also reported as invasive in Mauritius (PIER 2002, in Starr Starr and Loope 2003). H. benghalensis is reported as invasive in Hawaii (PIER 2002, in Starr Starr and Loope 2003). In addition, this species is listed by Staples et al. (2000) in their checklist of invasive or potentially invasive cultivated plants in Hawaii (Starr Starr and Loope 2003).
    H. benghalensis is widely cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers; it can be trimmed to form a small tree or shrub or can be trained as a vine (Whistler 2000, in Starr Starr and Loope 2003). It is also occasionally cultivated for medicinal purposes (Starr Starr and Loope 2003). Hiptage holds a reputed position in Indian medicine. The leaves and bark are hot, acrid, bitter, insecticidal, vulnerary and useful in treatment of biliousness, cough, burning sensation, thirst and inflammation; it has the ability to treat skin diseases and leprosy (Agharkar, 1991).
    Geographical range
    Native range: Native to temperate (South China and Taiwan) and tropical Asia (India; Indochina; Indonesia; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Sri Lanka; Thailand). Also cultivated elsewhere in the tropics (GRIN-CA, 2002). About 30 species occur in Western China, subtropical Asia, Formosa, Malaya and Pacific Islands. (Verma et al. 1993).
    Known introduced range: Hawaii and the Mascarene islands of La Réunion and Mauritius (PIER, 2002). It is reported as invasive in south-east Queensland, Australia (Batianoff & Butler, 2002). It is found, although perhaps not naturalised, on two Hawai‘ian Islands (Starr et al. 2003) and is listed as a potential pest in Florida, USA (FLEPPC 2001) where it is currently growing in the southeast corner of this state (Wunderlin and Hansen, 2000).
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    For ornamental purposes: Ornamental (GRIN-CA, 2002)

    Local dispersal methods
    For ornamental purposes (local): Ornamental (GRIN-CA, 2002)
    Garden escape/garden waste: Seeds or cuttings. (PIER, 2002)
    On animals (local): The seeds are readily dispersed by wind. (PIER, 2002)
    Management information
    Education and public awareness are appropriate cultural controls to ensure the weed is not planted as an ornamental near environmentally precious areas. In countries with tropical regions and warm climates such as Palau it is recommended that troublesome species (including H. benghalensis) should be prevented from reaching the country and establishing in native ecosystems such as tropical rainforests. Weed species should receive high priority for exclusion from entry into the country and promptly evaluated for eradication if found to be present. It is essential that plant growers are aware of the species' potential to become invasive in the wild (Starr Starr and Loope 2003).
    Propagation occurs via seeds or cuttings. The seeds are readily dispersed by wind. (PIER, 2002)
    This species has been nominated as among 100 of the "World's Worst" invaders
    Reviewed by: Wendy Stahm Ph.D., IUCN Plants Officer.
    Compiled by: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Last Modified: Monday, 24 July 2006

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland