Pacific Pests and Pathogens Pacific Pests, Pathogens & Weeds - Mini Fact Sheet Edition

Rat's tail (457) Print Fact Sheet

Relates to: Weeds


Common Name

Blue rat's tail; it is also known as dark blue snakeweed. CABI prefers the name rattail.

Scientific Name

Stachytarpheta urticifolia. It is a member of Verbenaceae.

There are a number of other Stachytaropheta species: Stachytaropheta cayennensis, Stachytarpheta indica, and Stachytaropheta jamaicensis. There has been considerable confusion and misidentifications between these. Some authorities think that Stachytarpheta urticifolia is the same as Stachytarpheta cayennensis, while others prefer to keep them separate - the flowers of Stachytaropheta cayennensis are pale blue to white.

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson, Aradhana Deesh & Mani Mua
Adapted from Dark blue snakeweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis) (2018) Weeds of SE Qld and Northern NSW. Lucidcentral. (; and additional information from CABI (2019) Stachytarpheta urticifolia (rattail). Invasive Species Compendium. (; Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press, Melbourne; and Stachytarpheta cayennensis (2019) Wikipedia.(; and from Snakeweed Stachytarpheta spp. (2020) Queensland Government. ( Photos 1&3 Forest & Kim Starr, Starr Environmental. Photo 2. Tonton Bernado. Stachtytarheta urticifolia (Verbenaceae).

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland, in association with the Pacific Community and Koronivia Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji.

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