Global invasive species database

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Common name
lino de Nueva Zelanda (English), bush flax (English), lirio de espada (English), New Zealand flax (English), New Zealand hemp (English)
Synonym
Similar species
Summary
New Zeland flax Phormium tenax is considered a major threat to the recovery of critically endangered plant species in Saint Helena through competition with natives. Flax also reduces suitable habitat for native bird species by altering native plant communities.
Species Description
Phormium tenax \"is a perennial rhizomatous herb (to circa 2 m tall) native to New Zealand. The stems are short and stout. The leaves are strap-like, deep green, clump forming and fibrous. The flowers are red and orange, occurring in terminal sprays\" (Csurhes and Edwards 1998 in PIER 2006). \"Plants to 5 to 6 m tall. Leaves bright orange toward base, stiff, erect, at least in lower part, 100 to 300 cm long, 5 to 12 cm wide, margins entire, apex usually splitting. Inflorescences 4 to 5 m long, peduncles dark brown, 2 to 3 cm in diameter, glabrous; tepals dull red, 2.5 to 5 cm long. Capsules dark brown with age, erect, 3-angled, 5 to 10 cm long, usually falcate, abruptly constricted at apex, not twisted. Seeds elliptic, 9 to 10 mm long, somewhat twisted\" (Wagner et al. 1999, in PIER 2006).
Uses
Flax is used in Pacific cultures for weaving baskets and other objects.
Habitat Description
Phormium tenax competes for habitat with Elaphoglossum dimorphum in St Helena where it is found on stone steps, rocks and shaded mossy banks in tree fern thickets (IUCN 2008). It is reported to be found growing primarily near footpaths and in undisturbed vegetation on Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands (Dean et al. 1994). Surveys of the New Zealand flax communities on Inaccessible Island from 1999 to 2000 revealed a population of 1000 plants occurring mainly on the steep coastal cliff faces (Ryan & Glass 2001, in Ryan et al. 2007b). Flax was common on the island in well-drained areas of relatively open vegetation (dominated by the ferns Blechnum penna-marina and Rumohra adiantiformis) and was scarce in dense tussock grass communities (Ryan et al. 2004). Flax appeared to struggle to gain a foothold in this habitat on Inaccessible Island; it was often found at disturbed sites such as at the base of overturned Phylica arborea trees on the summit scarp or growing on boulders or rocky outcrops (Ryan et al. 2004). The apparent difficulty with which flax established in dense tussock probably helped limit the spread of the species on Inaccessible. (Note, however, that flax on Nightingale Island is confined to an area of Spartina tussock grass and Phylica woodland (Ryan et al. 2007b)).

In Hawaii the species forms dense thickets in gullies in mesic areas below 300 meters above sea level (Smith, Alien Plants of Hawaii web site, in PIER 2006).

Principal source:

Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the EU-funded South Atlantic Invasive Species project, coordinated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Review:

Publication date: 2010-08-16

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2018) Species profile: Phormium tenax. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1424 on 16-11-2018.

General Impacts
Phormium tenax New Zealand flax colonises and converts native habitats degrading them and making them unsuitable for native species. It has the potential to alter the structure and function of vegetation communities of islands where it is introduced (Ryan & Glass 2001).
The following Saint Helena's plant species are negatively affected by the spread of flax: the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Elaphoglossum dimorphum in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Eastwood 2004); the 'Endangered (EN)' small bellflower (see Wahlenbergia angustifolia in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species); the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' large bellflower (see Wahlenbergia linifolia in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003a; 2003b); the 'Endangered (EN)' dogwood (see Nesohedyotis arborea in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003c); the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' He cabbage tree (see Pladaroxylon leucadendron in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003d); the 'Vulnerable (VU)' black cabbage tree (see Melanodendron integrifolium in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003e); the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' false gumwood (see Commidendrum spurium in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003f) and the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' She cabbage tree (see Lachanodes arborea in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003g). The 'Vulnerable 'VU' Tristan bunting (see Nesospiza acunhae in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and the 'Vulnerable 'VU' grosbeak bunting (see Nesospiza wilkinsi in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) are also negatively impacted by flax (BirdLife International 2008a,b).
Management Info
Funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office allowed for an initial clearing and eradication programme on Inaccessible Island in September 2004. A team of four was deployed by helicopter to cut down as many large plants as possible (Ryan et al. 2007b). The follow-up for this project was planned for three to five years later and took place in October 2007 under the Managing Aliens on Outer Islands project. There was more re-growth of Phormium tenax than anticipated but only a few plants had flowered since the initial clearing in 2004. Follow-up operations are recommended.
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Phormium tenax
NATIVE RANGE
  • new zealand
  • norfolk island
Informations on Phormium tenax has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Phormium tenax in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Phormium tenax New Zealand flax colonises and converts native habitats degrading them and making them unsuitable for native species. It has the potential to alter the structure and function of vegetation communities of islands where it is introduced (Ryan & Glass 2001).
The following Saint Helena's plant species are negatively affected by the spread of flax: the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Elaphoglossum dimorphum in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Eastwood 2004); the 'Endangered (EN)' small bellflower (see Wahlenbergia angustifolia in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species); the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' large bellflower (see Wahlenbergia linifolia in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003a; 2003b); the 'Endangered (EN)' dogwood (see Nesohedyotis arborea in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003c); the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' He cabbage tree (see Pladaroxylon leucadendron in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003d); the 'Vulnerable (VU)' black cabbage tree (see Melanodendron integrifolium in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003e); the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' false gumwood (see Commidendrum spurium in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003f) and the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' She cabbage tree (see Lachanodes arborea in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) (Cairns-Wicks 2003g). The 'Vulnerable 'VU' Tristan bunting (see Nesospiza acunhae in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and the 'Vulnerable 'VU' grosbeak bunting (see Nesospiza wilkinsi in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) are also negatively impacted by flax (BirdLife International 2008a,b).
Mechanism
[3] Competition
[1] Predation
Outcomes
[7] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [4] Reduction in native biodiversity
  • [3] Habitat degradation
Management information
Funding from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office allowed for an initial clearing and eradication programme on Inaccessible Island in September 2004. A team of four was deployed by helicopter to cut down as many large plants as possible (Ryan et al. 2007b). The follow-up for this project was planned for three to five years later and took place in October 2007 under the Managing Aliens on Outer Islands project. There was more re-growth of Phormium tenax than anticipated but only a few plants had flowered since the initial clearing in 2004. Follow-up operations are recommended.
Management Category
Eradication
Control
Bibliography
24 references found for Phormium tenax

Managment information
Aliens 23 2006. Newsletter. IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
Summary: Available from: http://www.issg.org/aliens_newsletter/A23.pdf
ICES. 2006. Working Group on Introductions and Transfers of Marine Organisms (WGITMO), 16�17 March 2006, Oostende, Belgium. ICES CM 2006/ACME:05. 334 pp.
IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)., 2010. A Compilation of Information Sources for Conservation Managers.
Summary: This compilation of information sources can be sorted on keywords for example: Baits & Lures, Non Target Species, Eradication, Monitoring, Risk Assessment, Weeds, Herbicides etc. This compilation is at present in Excel format, this will be web-enabled as a searchable database shortly. This version of the database has been developed by the IUCN SSC ISSG as part of an Overseas Territories Environmental Programme funded project XOT603 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment. The compilation is a work under progress, the ISSG will manage, maintain and enhance the database with current and newly published information, reports, journal articles etc.
Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology., 2003. The Annual Report July 2002 � June 2003. University of Cape Town
Summary: Available from: http://www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za/pdf/ar03scn.pdf [Accessed 10 December 2008]
Ryan, Peter G., Erica Sommer, Eugene Breytenbach, Warren Glass & Clifton Repetto. 2007b. Managing alien plants on the outer islands of Tristan da Cunha: follow-up of Flax eradication efforts. Report on activities, October-November 2007
Ryan, P.G., Barendse, J., Chiloane, L.A. & Moreku, G.L., 2004. Clearing invasive flax Phormium tenax on Inaccessible Island: reporting on clearing clearing activities, September-November 2004.- Unpubl. Report, Percy Fitzpatrick Institute, Cape Town, South Africa, 1-25.
General information
BirdLife International 2008. Nesospiza acunhae. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 08 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/150173 [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
BirdLife International 2008. Nesospiza wilkinsi. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 08 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/150174 [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
Cairns-Wicks, R. 2003b. Wahlenbergia linifolia. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 06 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44010 [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
Cairns-Wicks, R. 2003c. Nesohedyotis arborea. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 06 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/30378 [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
Cairns-Wicks, R. 2003f. Commidendrum spurium. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 07 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/37588 [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
Cairns-Wicks, R. 2003g. Lachanodes arborea. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 07 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/37595 [Accsessed 28 August 2008]
Dean, W. R. J. , S. J. Milton., P. G. Ryan and C. L. Moloney., 1994. The role of disturbance in the establishment of indigenous and alien plants at Inaccessible and Nightingale Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. Vegetatio 113: 13-23, 1994.
Eastwood, A. 2004. Elaphoglossum dimorphum. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 07 November 2008.
Summary: Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44727 [Accessed 25 October 2009]
Gass, I. G., 1963. The Royal Society s Expedition to Tristan da Cunha, 1962 The Geographical Journal, Vol. 129, No. 3 (Sep., 1963), pp. 283-288
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2008. Online Database Phormium tenax J.R. & G. Forst.
Summary: An online database that provides taxonomic information, common names, synonyms and geographical jurisdiction of a species. In addition links are provided to retrieve biological records and collection information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal and bioscience articles from BioOne journals.
Available from: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=504346 [Accessed 25 October 2008]
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)., 2006. Phormium tenax J.R.Forster & G.Forster, Agavaceae
Summary: Available from: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/phormium_tenax.htm [Accessed 10 December 2008]
Contact
The following 0 contacts offer information an advice on Phormium tenax