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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: J. Jeffrey

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Photo Credit:

image description

Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 18
  • FAMILY Myrtaceae
  • CATEGORY Trees

strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum)

A common invasive tree in moist and wet forests that is replacing native forests by forming dense, single-species thickets. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated this species as one of Hawai`i's Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.

  • A tree up to 20 ft tall with smooth reddish bark
  • Shiny leathery leaves (4 in long by 2.5 in wide) that grow opposite
  • White flowers (less than 1 in); numerous round red or yellow fruit (1 in)
  • Widespread on all main Hawaiian islands; native to Brazil
  • Seeds spread by birds and pigs

Harm

  • Quickly forms dense, nearly impenetrable thickets that crowd out native plants, break up natural areas, and disrupt native communities
  • Reduces water availability - there is a 27-50% reduction of water from soils, streams, and groundwater systems where P. cattleianum has invaded
  • Threatens local agriculture by building a large reservoir for damaging fruit flies

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