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Photo Credit:

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Photo Credit:

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Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: KISC

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 14
  • FAMILY Melastomataceae
  • CATEGORY Trees

miconia (Miconia calvescens)

Miconia calvescens is very invasive and is on the Hawai`i State Noxious Weed List. 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.

  • Large tree grows up to 50 ft tall
  • Large oval-shaped leaves (up to 3 ft long), green on top, purple underneath, with three main midribs running from stem to leaf-tip
  • Tan flowers are in upright clusters at branch tips; small round fruit (red immature to dark blue mature)
  • Found on Big Island, currently being controlled on Kaua`i, O`ahu, and East Maui; native to South and Central America
  • Seeds spread by birds and as a contaminant on hiking boots, gear, and pigs
  • Can grow from seed to mature seeding tree in four years. A mature tree can produce about 3 million seeds several times per year. Seeds can remain viable for 20 years before sprouting

Harm

  • Forms thick stands, shades out native plants and completely takes over moist and wet forests
  • Forms an "umbrella" over the watershed, potentially reducing the amount of rainwater that seeps into the watershed
  • Shallow root systems promotes erosion
  • Introduced to Tahiti in 1937 and has since overwhelmed two-thirds of Tahiti's forests, and is directly responsible for threatening 25% of their native forest species with extinction.

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