A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
April 2013. A weed appeared in the Koror State Capital buildings and no one had seen it before. The largest plants are 30 cm tall, with leaves 5-7 cm long. The inflorescence is less and 1 cm in diameter. Uprooting the plants made the hands itchy, reminiscent of nettles.
There were a number of suggestions – Urtica dioica, sting nettle, Mercurialis perennis (Euphorbiaceae), before settling on Laportea interrupta.
It does have stinging hairs although most plants but perhaps not as well-armed as the common stinging nettles (Urticaspp.). It is considered native from SE Asia through Malesia into the Western Pacific and northern Australia, and is likely to be a native species in Palau. It tends to grow in semi-shaded sites associated with rainforest margins. In far north Queensland, it is quite common on well-vegetated uninhabited coral cays, so this might suggest avian dispersal.
The Queensland Herbarium has a specimen that may have been collected in Palau (is ‘Mutunlik’ in Palau) by J.F. Clarke in April 1953. There is plenty of information on this species on the internet e.g.: