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  • Abelmoschus moschatus (Photo: Jim Space, PIER)
Common name
almizcle vegetal (English), wakeke (Fijian), algalia (English), wakewake (Fijian), `aute toga (Samoan, American Samoa and Samoa), wakiwaki (Fijian), almizcle vegetal (French), karereon (English, Chuuk), gongul (Palauan), fau tagaloa (Samoan, American Samoa and Samoa), metei (English, Pohnpei), ambretta semi (English), kamwayang (Yapese), bisameibisch (German), fautia (English), musk (English), musk mallow (English), okra (English), vakeke (Fijian), okeoke (Fijian), fau ingo (English, Wallis and Futuna), o'e'e (Fijian), aukiki (Fijian), fou ingo (Niuean), kamang (Chamorro, Guam), gombo musqué (English)
Hibiscus abelmoschus , L.
Similar species
Abelmoschus moschatus is a weedy, herbaceous plant that is native to India, parts of China and tropical Asia, and some Pacific islands. It is cultivated in India for the musk-like oil contained in its seeds, which is valued for perfume manufacture. It is considered a weed in open and disturbed areas. It has been found to be a suitable host plant for the insect Dysdercus cingulatus, which is a serious pest of cotton crops.
Species Description
Abelmoschus moschatus is an herbaceous trailing plant that grows to 2m in diameter with soft, hairy stems. It can grow up to 1.5m tall. Leaves are alternate, rough, hairy and heart-shaped. They have 3 to 5 lobes and can grow to 15cm long. Flowers resemble those of the hibiscus and are usually watermelon pink, although they are sometimes white or cream in colour. They last for only one day and their flowering depends on the timing of the wet season.Seeds are contained within hairy capsules up to 8cm long, which are tough but papery. A delicate musk-like odour is produced by the seed coat. (Mishra et. al, 2000; PIER, 2003; Townsend, 2000).
Lifecycle Stages
Annual or biennial (Oudhia, 2001).
Oil obtained from seeds possesses a musk-like odour that is used in the perfume industry. The roots, seeds and sometimes leaves, are used in traditional Indian medicines for a variety of illnesses, including intestinal complaints, constipation, dyspepsia and gonorrhea (Oudhia, 2001). Valued as an ornamental plant due to its colourful and attractive flowers (Magnolia Gardens Nursery, 2004).
Habitat Description
Abelmoschus moschatus grows in a range of habitats, from marshy areas to forest edges, at elevations of up to 450m. Commonly found in disturbed, open areas, as well as gardens, plantations and ricefields (PIER, 2003). Is able to grow on salt-affected wastelands (Mishra & Naik, 2000).
Propagation can be from seeds, small tubers, or stem cuttings (Townsend, 2000).
Cultivated for aromatic oil from seeds.

Principal source: PIER, 2003. (Pacific Island Ecosystems At Risk) Abelmoschus moschatus

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)


Publication date: 2006-03-23

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2022) Species profile: Abelmoschus moschatus. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=15 on 07-10-2022.

General Impacts
Considered a weed in open and disturbed areas (PIER, 2003). Found to be a suitable host species for Dysdercus cingulatus, a serious pest of cotton crops (Kohno & Ngan, 2004).
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Abelmoschus moschatus
  • australia
  • china
  • india
  • indonesia
  • malaysia
Informations on Abelmoschus moschatus has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Abelmoschus moschatus in information
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Species notes for this location
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Management notes for this location
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Considered a weed in open and disturbed areas (PIER, 2003). Found to be a suitable host species for Dysdercus cingulatus, a serious pest of cotton crops (Kohno & Ngan, 2004).
Red List assessed species 0:
Management information
15 references found for Abelmoschus moschatus

Management information
PIER (Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk) 2003. Abelmoschus moschatus
Summary: Ecology, synonyms, common names, distributions (Pacific as well as global), management and impact information.
Available from: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/abelmoschus_moschatus.htm [Accessed 5 December 2004].
General information
Barthelat, F. 2005. Note sur les esp�ces exotiques envahissantes � Mayotte. Direction de l�Agriculture et de la For�t. 30p
Summary: Tableau synth�tique des plantes exotiques de Mayotte class�es en fonction de leur niveau d envahissement.
Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin (BOULLET V. coord.) 2007. - Abelmoschus moschatus Index de la flore vasculaire de la R�union (Trach�ophytes) : statuts, menaces et protections. - Version 2007.1
Summary: Base de donn�es sur la flore de La R�union. De nombreuses informations tr�s utiles.
Available from: http://flore.cbnm.org/index2.php?page=taxon&num=45c48cce2e2d7fbdea1afc51c7c6ad26 [Accessed 26 March 2008]
Fournet, J. 2002. Flore illustr�e des phan�rogames de Guadeloupe et de Martinique. Gondwana �d.
Hoff, M., Cremers, G., Chevillotte, H., de Granville J.-J., Gu�rin V. & Molino J.-F., 2007. Base de donn�es botaniques Aublet2 de l Herbier de Guyane fran�aise (CAY).
Summary: Base de donn�es sur les sp�cimens botaniques collect�s sur le plateau des Guyanes, surtout en Guyane Fran�aise, et d�pos�s � l Herbier de Guyane.
Available from: http://www.cayenne.ird.fr/aublet2/Referentiel.html [Accessed 11 April 2008]
ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), 2004. Online Database Abelmoschus moschatus
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=21772 [Accessed December 31 2004]
Kohno, K., Ngan, B. T. 2004. Effects of host plant species on the development of Dysdercus cingulatus (Heteroptera: Pyrrhocoridae). Applied Entomological Zoology 39(1): 183-187.
Summary: This paper came to the conclusion that A. moschatus is able to act as a host plant for Dysdercus cingulatus, a serious pest of cultivated cotton.
Magnolia Gardens Nursery. 2004.
Summary: A webpage for a nursery that sells A. moschatus as an ornamental plant.
Available from: http://www.magnoliagardensnursery.com/productdescrip/Hibiscus_JapRed.html. [Accessed on 15 December, 2004].
Mishra, D. K., Naik, S. N. 2000. Cultivation and processsing of Abelmoschus moschatus. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences 22(1B): 624-628.
Summary: Information on the yields from cultivated A. moschatus in India.
Mishra, H. O., Shukla, N., Lal, R. K., Naqvi, A. A., Singh, N., Sharma, J. R. 2000. Induced variation for qualitative and quantitative traits in muskdana (Abelmoschus moschatus). Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences 22(1B): 629-632.
Summary: Describes research on the production of different commercial varieties of A. moschatus.
Oudhia, P. 2001. Muskdana or ambrette (Abelmoschus moschatus): aromatic and medicinal.
Summary: Basic information on the cultivation and use of A. moschatus in India.
Available from: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/muskdana.html. [Accessed on 15 December, 2004].
Randall, R. 2001. The Global Compendium of Weeds: Abelmoschus moschatus.
Summary: A very small amount of information on distribution and common names.
Available from: http://www.hear.org/gcw/html/autogend/species/9.HTM. [Accessed on 15 December, 2004].
Smith A. C. 1981. Flora Vitiensis Nova: A New Flora of Fiji. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. National Tropical Botanical Garden 2: 423.
Townsend, K. 2000. Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus.
Summary: Some basic information on A. moschatus in Australia.
Available from: http://farrer.riv.csu.edu.au/ASGAP/a-mos.html. [Accessed 15 December, 2004].
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Abelmoschus moschatus
Geographic region: Pacific, Indian Ocean
Ecosystem: Terrestrial
Expert in the botany of French Polynesia and the Pacific Islands, and has worked on ecology and biological control of Miconia calvescens in French Polynesia.
D�l�gation � la Recherche
D�l�gation � la Recherche, Gouvernement de Polyn�sie fran�aise. B.P. 20981, 98713 Papeete, Tahiti, Polyn�sie fran�aise
689 47 25 60
Abelmoschus moschatus
almizcle vegetal, wakeke, algalia, wakewake, `aute toga, wakiwaki, almizcle vegetal, karereon, gongul, fau tagaloa, metei, ambretta semi, kamwayang, bisameibisch, fautia, musk, musk mallow, okra, vakeke, okeoke, fau ingo, o'e'e, aukiki, fou ingo, kamang, gombo musqué
Date assessed
Year published
Eicat category
Justification for EICAT assessment
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Mechanism(s) of maximum impact
Countries of most severe impact
Description of impacts
Recommended citation
(2022). Abelmoschus moschatus. IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT).