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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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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 7
  • FAMILY Verbenaceae
  • CATEGORY Shrubs, Vines, & Others

fiddlewood (Citharexylum caudatum, Citharexylum spinosum)

Ornamental trees that will spread from initial plantings. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated both these species as one of Hawai'i's Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.

  • Trees up to 50 ft tall
  • C. caudatum has smooth leaves (5 in long by 1.5 in wide) glossy on top and dull underneath, small white bell-shaped flowers ground on tail-like clusters (up to 4 in), the fruit grows in cylindrical clusters, matures to orange, then black
  • C. spinosum has larger leaves (8 in long by 4 in wide), small orange-yellow flowers growing in clusters up to 12 in long, and the fruit grows in cylindrical clusters, orange and red turning black when ripe
  • C. caudatum is present on O'ahu, Kaua'i, Maui, and Big Island; C. spinosum is present on O'ahu and Maui; native to the Central America and the Carribbean
  • Seeds spread by fruit eating birds

Harm

  • Prolific seeder easily spreading from initial planting
  • Forms thickets in natural areas, pastures, roadsides, and gulches
  • The dense canopies shade out and smoother other plants

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