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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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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 7
  • FAMILY Verbenaceae
  • CATEGORY Trees

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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