- History and Culture
Scaevola taccada is a flowering plant in the Goodeniaceae family. It is a coastal plant found throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is commonly found on beaches throughout the Arabian Sea, the tropical Indian Ocean and the tropical Islands of the Pacific. The shrub can reach up to 4 metres in height but typically measures between 1 and 3 meters. It is a common plant in the upper littoral zones where it grows on sandy or pebbly soils, close to the sea and exposed to the salt spray. The yellowish green leaves, measuring around 20 centimeters, are alternate and grouped at the top of the stems. The plant produces white flowers and fruits. The flowers bloom year-round, displaying a fan-like shape.
 Global Invasive Species Database. 2018. Species profile: Scaevola sericea. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1532 on 18-08-2018.
Scaevola taccada typically grows directly on the beaches, most typically on beach crests of coral sands. Being a salt tolerant shrub, it thrives in well-drained sandy soils and can be found growing in loose plant communities with other native plants such as pandanus and beach morning glories. It is a pioneer plant that can be used in ecological restoration or to prevent erosion. It also protects other plants from the salt spray.
Scaevola taccada has not been assessed on the IUCS Red List, however, historically, native plants on coastal areas were cut down to make way for Casuarina equisetifolia commonly known as Filao. Casuarina thickets are known to dislodge native dune and beach plant species.
S. taccada’s fruit can float in the water and ocean currents help to propagate or disperse the plant, to new sandbanks in tropical areas, where it is often a pioneer plant.