Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Leptospermum laevigatum
(Gaertn.) F.Muell., Myrtaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 11 (Go to the risk assessment).

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Australian myrtle, Australian tea tree, coast teatree, coastal teatree

Habit:  shrub/tree

Description:  "Large shrubs or small trees 5-6 m tall, bark shredding in long flakes.  Leaves narrowly oblanceolate to oblanceolate, 16-25 mm long, 4-8 mm wide, sparsely silky pubescent, glabrate with age, glandular-dotted, apex mucronate.  Sepals deltate, ca. 1-1.5 mm long, silky pubescent at least in bud, apex obtuse; petals white, ca. 6.5 mm long.  Capsules 8-10-valved, ca. 6 mm in diameter, scarcely exserted from hypanthium"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 963).

Habitat/ecology:  "Heath- and scrubland, grassland, coastal dunes.  A native of coastal heath communities, this shrub is tolerant of salt spray and invades coastal vegetation.  It can form extensive and dense thickets that displace the native vegetation.  The masses of fine roots in the top soil allow an efficient exploitation of soil moisture and competition with native plants"  (Weber, 2003; p. 233).

Propagation:  Seed.  "Fruits remain on the tree until fire or other damage kills it, leading to mass release of seeds.  These are dispersed by wind and water"  (Weber, 2003; p. 233).

Native range:  "Southeastern Australia and Tasmania"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 963).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 963)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Herbarium Pacificum Staff (1999) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: R. Hobdy 2403 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Herbarium Pacificum Staff (1999) (p. 5)
Voucher cited: Mrs. Crowe s.n. (BISH 60010)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2002) (p. 13)
Voucher cited: C. Imada 2000-5 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) native
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia. "Records from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia are considered to be based on introductions."
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales native
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"This species has become naturalised in coastal areas where it has often been used for dune stabilisation or planted after sand-mining."
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
Naturalised
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 865)
"Coastal places, scrub near gardens or parks".
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control:  Cut trees and burn the area about 4 years later to kill emerging seedlings (Weber, 2003; p. 233).


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This page was created on 19 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 30 DEC 2011.