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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 14
  • FAMILY Bignoniaceae
  • CATEGORY Trees

African tuliptree (Spathodea campanulata)

An invasive ornamental tree. 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 tall tree up to 75 ft
  • 3-19 leaflets (5 in long by 3 in wide) form the compound leaves
  • Scarlet-orange, showy flowers grow in clusters (about 4 in high and 8 in across) year-round; fruit clusters are upright, canoe-shaped seed capsules up to 10 in long
  • Present on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Maui, and Big Island; native to Africa
  • Many small flat seeds are wind dispersed, propagated by cutting and root cuttings

Harm

  • Spreads rapidly in mesic to wet areas, invading pastures and mature forests
  • Seeds germinate quickly and form understory thickets
  • Crowds out native vegetation in forests and waterways

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