Mahonia oiwakensis Hayata (=Mahonia lomariifolia) (Berberidaceae): A new species for the alien flora of South Africa
Keywords:Mahonia oiwakensis, naturalised, alien plant
Background: A first record of a naturalised population of Mahonia oiwakensis (=Mahonia lomariifolia) in South Africa is presented. The species is native to China and is cultivated in South Africa as an ornamental plant.
Objectives: To document a new record of M. oiwakensis, provide a brief description of its morphology and note its ecology and current distribution outside of cultivation in South Africa.
Method: Plants were studied in the field and herbarium vouchers were collected and compared with images of type specimens. Distribution data were collected by means of global positioning system coordinates for each plant, and vegetation and habitat types were recorded for the sites where M. oiwakensis was collected.
Results: Two populations of 16 plants were found in South Africa, Gauteng, Pretoria, in the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve and Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve, in the natural savannah biome, in thornveld and bushveld vegetation.
Conclusions: Mahonia oiwakensis has naturalised in South Africa. Further research is paramount to determine whether the species poses a substantial threat and whether it should be regulated and prioritised for management. It is recommended that this species should be added to the species under surveillance for potential eradication or containment targeting.