Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Leptospermum scoparium
J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., Myrtaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 20 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: broom teatree, manuka, manuka myrtle, Manuka teatree, New Zealand tea tree, tea tree

Maori (NZ): manuka

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Shrubs or small trees to 2-5 m tall, bark shredding into long strips; young branches silky pubescent.  Leaves linear-lanceolate to linear-elliptic or occasionally ovate, 9-14 mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide, silky pubescent when young, soon glabrate, gladular-dotted, apex attenuate to a pungent tip.  Sepals broadly deltate, ca. 1.5-3.5 mm long, minutely tuberculate, glabrous, apex obtuse; petals pink or white, ca. 5-8 mm long, glandular-dotted.  Capsules 5-valved, 5-6 mm in diameter, slightly exserted from hypanthium"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 963).

Habitat/ecology:  "This small, scrubby tree forms thickets which crowd out other plants. In Hawai‘i, it has infested goat-eroded ridgetops, resulting in their stabilization.  It appears to have allelopathic activity like many other members of the Myrtaceae.  In Hawai‘i, it is found in mesic habitats between 300-700 m elevation" (Smith, 1985; p. 193).  In Hawai‘i, "extensively cultivated and now naturalized, primarily in disturbed mesic to wet forest and areas of forestry plantings, 330-1,220 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 963).

Propagation:  Prolific seed producer. Seeds are dispersed by wind.

Native range:  Australia and New Zealand; also cultivated (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Recorded by Cheeseman on Raemaru peak and perhaps a remnant of cultivation per Bill Sykes.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘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
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 963)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2004) (p. 14)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer, S. Perlman, J. Lau & R. Aguraiuja H70206 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 963)
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
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Tasmania, Victoria
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (pp. 162-163)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) native
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 865)
"Lowland to subalpine areas in various habitats, especially open slopes, river banks, forest margins, and scrub, where it often forms the dominant vegetation".

Comments:  Other members of this genus, including L. flavescens, L. laevigatum and L. polygalifolium, are also potentially invasive. See also listing for Kunzea ericoides.

Control: 

Physical: "DOFAW, Katie Cassel (Kōke‘e Museum), and U.S. Army all reported that decapitated New Zealand tea trees do not resprout"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Chemical: Reported to be sensitive to triclopyr (Motooka et al., 2003).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 18 MAY 2013.