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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 3
  • FAMILY Myrtaceae
  • CATEGORY Trees

New Zealand ohia, pohutakawa, and hybrids (Metrosideros kermadecensis, Metrosideros excelsa)

An invasive tree similar looking (and related to) the native `ohi`a Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha).

  • Tree up to 60 ft with a trunk of 3 ft diameter, often grows a multi-trunked spreading tree
  • Oblong, leathery leaves (3 in long) are covered underneath with dense white hairs
  • Red flowers made up of a mass of stamens, similar to the native `ohi`a's brush-shaped flowers
  • M. kermadecensis differs from M. excelsa mainly by having smaller, more oval leaves and by flowering through out the year
  • M. kermadecensis is on O`ahu and Maui, M. excelsa is on O`ahu; native to New Zealand
  • Seeds spread by wind

Harm

  • Prolific seeder with wind spreading seeds that germinate and form dense masses of seedlings, crowding out the forest understory
  • Dense thickets of mature trees shade and replace native plants
  • Originally planted as an ornamental in Hawai`i and is now becoming sparingly naturalized

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