Malephora crocea_C001-12
Photo courtesy UC Davis Weeds of California

Malephora crocea Risk Assessment

Common names: coppery mesembryanthemum

Malephora crocea -- California

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Evaluation Summary
Summary: 
General Evaluation Information
Date of Evaluation: 
June 30, 2016
Evaluation Time (hrs): 
Not Recorded
Evaluation Status: 
Completed
Plant Information
Plant Material: 
If the plant is a cultivar, and if the cultivar's behavior differs from its parent's (behavior), explain how: 
Regional Information
Region Name: 
Climate Matching Map
These maps were built using a toolkit created in collaboration between GreenInfo Network, PlantRight, Cal-IPC, and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Climate Matching Maps PDF: 
Invasive History and Climate Matching
1. Has the species (or cultivar or variety, if applicable; applies to subsequent "species" questions) become naturalized where it is not native?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in Australia, Mexico, and California.
Reference(s): 
2. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being naturalized in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Naturalized in Australia, Mexico (Baja California), and California. In California, it is most extensive on the Channel Islands.
Reference(s): 
3. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the U.S. or world?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
I could not find information on invasive impacts outside of California but we have decided that impacts within California count towards this question as well, although that becomes somewhat of a circular reference. Forms dense infestations with nearly 100% cover in coastal bluffs and coastal scrub on East Anacapa Island, California, and was a priority species for control on the Channel Islands, California. (Personal observations by John Knapp, The Nature Conservancy, formerly the invasive plant manager with Catalina Island Conservancy, as well as Sarah Chaney with Channel Islands National Park.) Today, non-native iceplant densely covers about 20 percent of east Anacapa and it has extended its range onto middle Anacapa as well (NPS). In Point Loma, San Diego County, Malephora crocea is just as invasive as Carpobrotus. It basically acts exactly the same. It grows in the same places, it spreads and takes over just as rapidly, and it is just as common. I observed both species creeping over and smothering shrubs (Morse, K. Personal communication).
Reference(s): 
4. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
3
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
I could not find information on invasive impacts outside of California but we have decided that impacts within California count towards this question as well, although that becomes somewhat of a circular reference. Forms dense infestations with nearly 100% cover in coastal bluffs and coastal scrub on East Anacapa Island, California, and was a priority species for control on the Channel Islands, California. (Personal observations by John Knapp, The Nature Conservancy, formerly the invasive plant manager with Catalina Island Conservancy, as well as Sarah Chaney with Channel Islands National Park.) Today, non-native iceplant densely covers about 20 percent of east Anacapa and it has extended its range onto middle Anacapa as well (NPS). In Point Loma, San Diego County, Malephora crocea is just as invasive as Carpobrotus. It basically acts exactly the same. It grows in the same places, it spreads and takes over just as rapidly, and it is just as common. I observed both species creeping over and smothering shrubs (Morse, K. Personal communication).
Reference(s): 
5. Are other species of the same genus (or closely related genera) invasive in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Three other species are cited as naturalized in Randall 2012 but none as invasive.
Reference(s): 
6. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) found predominately in a climate matching the region of concern?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Native to South Africa. Naturalized in California and parts of Australia and southern Europe that are similar to California. Most areas where it grows seem to be Mediterranean-type regions.
Impact on Native Plants and Animals
7. Does this plant displace native plants and dominate (overtop or smother) the plant community in areas where it has established?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Forms dense infestations with nearly 100% cover in coastal bluffs and coastal scrub on East Anacapa Island, California, and was a priority species for control on the Channel Islands, California. (Personal observations by John Knapp, The Nature Conservancy, formerly the invasive plant manager with Catalina Island Conservancy, as well as Sarah Chaney with Channel Islands National Park.) Today, non-native iceplant densely covers about 20 percent of east Anacapa and it has extended its range onto middle Anacapa as well (NPS)
Reference(s): 
8. Is the plant noted as promoting fire and/or changing fire regimes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
This is a succulent groundcover that grows in coastal areas so it seems unlikely to promote fire.
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
9. Is the plant a health risk to humans or animals/fish? Has the species been noted as impacting grazing systems?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
No mention of toxicity. It grows in coastal scrub and coastal bluff so would not seem to impact grazing areas.
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
10. Does the plant produce impenetrable thickets, blocking or slowing movement of animals, livestock, or humans?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
This is a groundcover that grows only a few inches to one foot high, so while walking through it might be difficult, it does not seem to fit our definition of an impenetrable thicket.
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
Reproductive Strategies
11. Does this species (or cultivar or variety) reproduce and spread vegetatively?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Stems can root from the nodes.
Reference(s): 
12. If naturally detached fragments from this plant are capable of producing new plants, is this a common method of reproduction for the plant?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
This species is a succulent groundcover that can be grown from either seed or cuttings so it seems likely that fragments can produce new plants. The unpublished assessment form written for the Cal-IPC Inventory states that it can reproduce from fragments (personal observations by John Knapp).
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
13. Does the species (or cultivar or variety) commonly produce viable seed?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Very High
Answer / Justification: 
Can be propagated from seeds. Produces many seeds.
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
14. Does this plant produce copious viable seeds each year (> 1000)?
Yes or No: 
Points: 
Confidence Level: 
Answer / Justification: 
Described as producing many seeds but I do not have numbers.
Reference(s): 
15. Is there significant germination (>25%) of seeds the next growing season, with no requirement of an infrequent environmental condition for seeds to germinate (i.e. fire) or long dormancy period?
Yes or No: 
Points: 
Confidence Level: 
Answer / Justification: 
No information
Reference(s): 
16. Does this plant produce viable seed within the first three years (for an herbaceous species) to five years (for a woody species) after germination?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
The unpublished assessment form written for the Cal-IPC Inventory states that it can reach reproductive maturity within two years (personal observations by John Knapp).
Reference(s): 
17. Does this plant continuously produce seed for >3 months each year or does seed production occur more than once a year?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Sunset says it produces flowers nearly yearround. Jepson says it blooms from March to December, so it seems likely that seeds are produced for more than three months.
Reference(s): 
Dispersal
18. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by mammals or birds or via domestic animals?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Most seeds fall under the plant and rain is the main form of dispersal.
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
19. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by wind or water?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
In the native South Africa, rain is the main form of seed dispersal but that does not seem likely to move seeds 100m.
Reference(s): 
South African National Biodiversity Institute (2012).  Plantz Africa.
20. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed via contaminated seed (agriculture or wildflower packets), equipment, vehicles, boats or clothing/shoes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
Reference(s): 
Evaluation Notes

Malephora crocea was reviewed for the Cal-IPC Inventory in 2006 and came out as Evaluated But Not Listed. While it is a problem on the Channel Islands, its statewide impacts were not extensive enough to qualify for the Inventory.

USDA: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=406861

GBIF: http://www.gbif.org/species/3084858

John Bleck 2016. Malephora crocea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=32548, accessed on June 30, 2016

South Africa: http://pza.sanbi.org/malephora

Channel Islands: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/nature/restoring-anacapa-island-native-pl...

Reviewed by Ramona Robison.

Total PRE Score

  • < 13 : accept (low risk of invasiveness)
  • 13 - 15 : evaluate further
  • > 15 : reject (high risk of invasiveness)

PRE Score: 
16
Number of questions answered: 
18
Screener Confidence (%): 
78.9
PRE Content Access and Privacy
Evaluation visibility: 
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