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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: John Tann

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 20
  • FAMILY Myrtaceae
  • CATEGORY Shrubs, Vines, & Others

New Zealand tea (Leptospermum scoparium, Leptospermum polygalifolium)

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated L. scoparium as one of Hawai`i's Most Invasive Horticultural Plants. All species in the genus are discouraged from planting.

  • Shrub up to 16 ft tall with shredding bark
  • L. scoparium has thin leaves (1/2 in long by 1/10 in wide), small white or pink flowers (1/2 in) and round wooden seed capsules (1/4 in)
  • L. polygalifolium has longer leaves (up to 1 in long by 1/10 in wide) and white or greenish flowers (1/2 in)
  • L. scoparium is present on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Maui, and Lana`i; L. polygalifolium is present on O`ahu; native to New Zealand and Australia
  • Seeds spread by wind

Harm

  • Prolific seeders that spread quickly
  • Invades disturbed forests becoming naturalized
  • Can form dense thickets crowding out native plants

Plant these Instead