First report of Sesbania punicea in Corse (FR)
Sesbania punicea (Fabaceae, EPPO Observation List of Invasive Alien Plants) is reported as naturalized (= established) for the first time in Corse, France in 2012. The species had initially been recorded as casual (= transient) in Calvi and Galeria in 1996. Two populations of this plant are described, one of these is currently considered casual but the other is naturalized.
S. punicea is still used as an ornamental plant and was found in 2012 in Galeria again. The plant was found along a road, just north of a bridge over the Fango River close to where it had been planted. S. punicea is considered as casual there, even if it produces viable seeds, and it may threaten the population of the protected Delphinium pictum (Ranunculaceae) growing nearby on the riverbed.
S. punicea was also recorded in Algajola in a ruderalized marsh along a road, close to the town, where it is considered as established. The plant escaped from an ornamental plantation and more than 50 individual plants were observed in the marsh, forming locally dense bushes covering several square meters, outcompeting other taxa. The number and age of the plants suggest that the population is more than 10 years old.
The two populations discovered in Corse do not currently represent major threats because the Galeria site suffers from drought and is not climatically optimal for S. punicea, and the Algajola site is a marsh with low biodiversity in a peri-urban area which probably will be built on in the near future. These observations nevertheless support the need for eradication of the species in Corse, to prevent it from spreading other sensitive sites.
Tison JM (2013) Establishment of;Sesbania punicea;(Cav.) Benth. in Corsica. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 43(1), 193–194.