A description of the naturalised Clusia rosea Jacq. (Clusiaceae) populations in South Africa
Keywords:apomixis, ornamental plants, invasive
Background: Clusia rosea is an ornamental plant that has been cultivated in South Africa since the late 19th century. Ornamental plant species are known to be a source of invasive plants.
Objectives: To document the current distribution of C. rosea in South Africa and its naturalisation status.
Method: Reports of C. rosea were verified in the field and herbarium vouchers were collected. Coordinates were taken for each plant, their reproductive status was assessed and heights were measured. In addition, the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas database and five herbaria were checked for records.
Results: A total of 284 plants were found outside of cultivation, mostly in the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Belt Grassland. Clusia rosea appears to be reproducing through apomixis. No records of naturalisation could be found elsewhere in Africa.
Conclusion: It is recommended that C. rosea be added to the Species Under Surveillance – Possible Eradication or Containment Targets (SUSPECT) list to investigate whether it requires formal legal listing.