Native to Central America, it was introduced on La Réunion before 1825 for the production of ropes. It can be found on the flanks of the ravines and on cliffs of the dry areas, between 0 and 1000 meters. It invades the underbrush of native dry forest relics (on the Massif de la Montagne, La Grande Chaloupe, Les Hauts de l’Ouest or Mafate among others)
This exotic species forms dense and impenetrable communities that exclude native vegetation. It therefore considerably impedes the regeneration of the dry forest. The Choca forms part of the Invasive Alien Species (IAS) list of la Réunion, list that has been defined by the CBNM (Coonservatoire Botanique National des Mascarins). The Choca Vert is moreover listed on the IAS list defined by the french IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Committee and on that defined by the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group, who includes the Choca among the most invasive in the world.
Control operations have been carried out in several places. Manual control is feasible by cutting the masts and leaf rosettes followed by chemical injection treatment of glyphosate herbicide in the stem. Total tearing remains the most effective method.