Verbesina encelioides in the Indian Ocean
Verbesina encelioides (Asteraceae, EPPO Alert List) is recorded in the islands of Reunion, Mauritius, and Rodrigues as common on road sides and sandy coastlines. The first observations are reported in de Cordemoy (1895). The species might have been introduced there for cultivation (ornamental plant). Local names are Soleil and Chardon in Mauritius, Petit soleil and Herbe Marie-Thérèse in Reunion Island.
In Reunion Island, the species has been recently recorded in the following localities:
- In Etang Salé: it was first observed in2001 by Lavergne in a forest clearing on sandy soils. In 2005, it was then observed by Le Bourgeois and Hivert on 2 to 3 km of a road side along the main road (RN1), with 30 to 50% cover, and in vegetable crops, covering 10 to 50%;
- In Saint Louis: observed in 2005 by Hivert at the “Camp du Gol”;
- In Saint Leu: observed in 2006 by Hivert at the site “les sables”;
- In Saint Paul: observed in 2006 by Hivert at the site “les nèfles”.
So far, the species is not perceived as a threat in Reunion Island.
MASCARINE (1999) Base de données relationnelle sur la flore et les habitats de La Réunion. [Base de données locale]. Conservatoire Botanique National de Mascarin, Saint Leu, Réunion. Consultée en novembre 2009.
Hind DJN (1993) 11. Helianthaceae Cass. In Flore des Mascareignes (Bosser J, Guého J et Jeffrey C, réd.), Vol. 109. Composées. MSIRI, ORSTOM et Kew. 261 p.
de Cordemoy JE (1895, réimp. 1972) Flore de l’île de la Réunion. Paul Klincksieck, Paris, 574 p.
Thomas Le Bourgeois, pers. comm., 2009, firstname.lastname@example.org, Christophe Lavergne, pers. comm., 2009 email@example.com