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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 Myrtaceae
  • CATEGORY Trees

allspice (Pimenta dioica)

An invasive tree that will escape the garden. 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 small tree up to 30 ft with light gray bark that peels in thin sheets
  • Leathery, glossy green leaves (8 in long by 2 in wide) grow in an opposite pattern and have a spice odor when crushed
  • Male trees produce small white flowers (1/4 in) at the leaf base, females produce brownish green, spicy, pea-sized berries
  • Naturalized on Kaua`i and Maui, spreading on O`ahu; native to West Indies, Southern Mexico, Central America, and the Carribbean
  • Seeds are spread by birds

Harm

  • Prolific seeder causing dense thickets of saplings under parent tree
  • Spreads beyond cultivation becoming naturalized in forests
  • Host to `ohi`a Rust (Puccinia psidii)

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