Outbreak of a new alien invasive plant Salvia reflexa in north-east China

M. N. Shao, B. Qu, B. T. Drew, C. L. Xiang, Q. Miao, S. H. Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The establishment of invasive species is widely recognised as a pivotal issue in the preservation of biodiversity. Salvia reflexa, a species native to the south-central United States and Mexico, has been widely introduced in Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In China, the first population of this plant was found growing adjacent to a grain depot in Shahai village, Jianping County, Liaoning Province, on 25 July 2007. Since the grain depot imported foodstuffs from regions where the plant is native, we infer that S. reflexa was introduced into China via imported foodstuff in the early to mid-2000s. Based on field observations, at least seven populations of this plant were observed in north-east China. The plants displayed vigorous growth in midsummer and produced prolific seeds to overcome the cold environment in winter. Salvia reflexa occurred in both dense monocultures and in mixed stands with native plants. In order to validate a system for recognising and categorising non-native plants in China, the Australian Weed Risk Assessment system was used to assess the invasiveness status of 19 exotic and 16 native plants in north-east China. Salvia reflexa exhibited a high score of 10, suggesting it is a potentially pernicious alien invasive plant. Although the current distribution of S. reflexa is restricted to Liaoning province and thus far has limited impact on local environments, local regulatory authorities should pay close attention to this plant and take measures to stop its expansion. This is the first time that an invasive plant from the Lamiaceae (mint family) has been documented from cold environments in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalWeed Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Australian Weed Risk Assessment (WRA) system
  • Salvia reflexa
  • biological invasion
  • invasive plant
  • north-east China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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