Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Pittosporum undulatum
Vent., Pittosporaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 10 (Go to the risk assessment)

Common name(s): [more details]

English: Australian cheesewood, cheesewood, mock orange, orange-berry pittosporum, sweet pittosporum, Victorian box, Victorian laurel

Habit:  tree

Description:  "A slender-branched shrub or tree, rarely becoming 16 feet or more high (although it may be 40 feet in its native country), with smooth, gray bark.  Leaves alternate, often crowded at ends of slender, light brown branches, 3.5 to 5 inches long, lanceolate, pointed at both ends, shiny, with prominently wavy margins.  Flowers almost white, few, fragrant, borne on the youngest branches in terminal clusters about 1 inch long; petals 5, abruptly bent downward at end.  Fruit globe-shaped, compressed, usually 5/8 inch long, leathery, about 25-seeded.  Seeds angular, 1/8 inch long and 1/32 inch thick, dark brown, smooth"  (Haselwood, 1966; p. 168).

Habitat/ecology:  "Forests, grass- and heathland, riparian habitats, coastal dunes and scrub.  This tree is a successful gap colonizer and eliminates native vegetation by the low and dense canopies, shading out almost all other species.  The tree produces large quantities of sticky seeds that are dispersed by birds and mammals.  Gaps are quickly colonized and seedlings form a dense ground cover.  The nutrient rich litter leads to an increase of soil fertility levels.  The tree resprouts vigorously after damage"  (Weber, 2002; p. 333).

In Hawai‘i, "cultivated and now naturalized in disturbed mesic forest, 500-1,200 m"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1048).

Propagation:  Seed, often dispersed by birds.

Native range:  Australia.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
Pickard, J. (1984) (p. 207)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 20)
"Introduced and escaped from cultivation". Vouchers cited: P.S. Green 2032 (K), J. Pickard 3330 (NSW), L.A.S. Johnson & A.N. Rodd 1205 (NSW)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Norfolk Islands
Norfolk Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 10)
"Introduced and escaped from cultivation". Vouchers cited: G. Uhe 1157 (K), G. Uhe 1181 (K), B.A. Somers 14 (CHR), H.C.Quintall (CHR)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 87)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1048)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1048)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘ihale Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1048)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2006) (p. 38)
East Maui. Vouchers cited: Starr & Starr 040827-1 (BISH), Starr & Starr 050216-1 (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
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) introduced
invasive
Weber, Ewald (2003) (p. 333)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) uncertain if native
cultivated
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 942)
Possibly introduced by birds from Australia or Norfolk Island. Also sparingly cultivated in gardens.
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canary Islands
Canary Islands
Canary Islands introduced
Weber, Ewald (2003) (p. 333)

Comments:  On French Polynesia exclusion list.

Control: 

Physical:  "Seedlings area easy to hand pull.  Small trees are cut, larger trees cut or girdled, often in combination with herbicide treatment"  (Weber, 2003; p. 333).

Chemical: Application of 2,4,5-T and diesel mixture to stumps cut just above ground level prevents coppicing (Cronk & Fuller, 2001; p. 107-111).  "Effective herbicides are 2,4,5-T, picloram plus 2,4-D, or glyphosate.  Follow-up programmes are necessary to treat regrowth and emerging seedlings"  (Weber, 2003; p. 333).


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 26 DEC 2011.