*Cardiospermum h* invasive native?

Chris J. Durden drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Wed Jan 16 22:58:55 EST 2002

Checking in Martinez "Plantas Mexicanas" - our Baloon Vine, *Cardiospermum 
halicacabum* L. has a Nahuatl name and several Mayan names so it looks like 
it was in Mexico in pre-Columbian times. Where I have seen it, it seems to 
be an early successional opportunist. I strongly suspect that it is a 
native invasive weed. If it was not originally native to Florida I suspect 
that it was brought there by canoe. Mabberley notes that the leaves are 
used as a vegetable. Do any birds, like Anis, spread the seeds?
............Chris Durden

At 03:44 PM 1/16/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>There is still some question whether it is truly exotic in Florida.
> > Surprisingly, the USDA website (http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/topics.cgi)
> > lists it as native.  Perhaps most interesting is that The Florida Exotic
> > Pest Plant Council (http://www.fleppc.org/), consisting of eleven of the
> > most authoritative botanists in Florida, does not list it as invasive in
> > Florida (1999-2001).  Likewise, The University of Florida Center
> > for Aquatic
> > and Invasive Plants (http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu/welcome.html)
> > does not list
> > it either.
> >
> > John Calhoun
>I had to scan long and hard to find it listed as an exotic in Florida - but
>found it in an appendix of a online management plan for John Pennycamp State
>Park.  I am confounded by the fact that some list it as exotic, while
>resources devoted to exotics don't mention it.  However, I interpreted the
>lack of mention on the Florida Aquatic and Invasive Plant web page as
>evidence that it isn't an "invasive exotic" - although it could still be a
>"non-invasive exotic".  Most of my paper references (with the northern bias
>of our office library) list it as exotic (egg Britten and Brown).
>John A. Shuey
>Director of Conservation Science
>Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy


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