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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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