Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Melaleuca quinquenervia
(Cav.) S.T.Blake, Myrtaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

High risk, score: 15 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific))
Reject, score: 20 (Go to the risk assessment  (U.S. (Florida)))

Common name(s): [more details]

English: broadleaf paperbark, broadleaf teatree, cajeput, cajuput, melaleuca, paper bark tree, paperbark, paperbark teatree, punk tree, swamp tea tree, tea tree

French: niaouli

Other: itahou

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Trees to 20-25 m tall, bark whitish or pale brown, spongy, exfoliating.  Leaves alternate, coriaceous, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 5-9 cm long, 0.8-1.5 cm wide, 3-nerved or 5-nerved, glabrous, glandular punctate, apex acute, base cuneate, petioles ca 3-8 mm long, twisted.  Flowers in cylindrical spikes ca 3-10 cm long, the axis silky pubescent; sepals broadly deltate-ovate, ca 1.2-1.5 mm long; petals cream, ca 2.5-3 mm long; stamens ca 10-15 mm long; filaments connate at base.  Fruit woody, short-cylindrical, ca 3-4 mm long, 4-5 mm in diameter"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 964).

Habitat/ecology:  "Wet forests, cypress swamps, marshes, wet grassland.  In the native range, this tree often grows in pure stands on creek banks and in swamps.  Where invasive, it rapidly colonizes freshwater wetlands and almost completely displaces the native vegetation, thereby degrading prime wildlife habitat.  The tree grows well ion poor soils, is tolerant of flooding and is a prolific seed producer.  The tree resprouts easily after damage.  Stands of this tree can carry fires into the canopies, thereby killing other tree species"  (Weber, 2003; p. 257).

In Hawai‘i, "this evergreen tree reaches heights of 12 m and invades open swampy areas. The leaves appear to have allelopathic activity, probably of a similar nature to that of other members of the Myrtaceae. Like many other members of its family, it is adapted to fire, which generally results in an intensification of the infestation.  Paperbark infests wet habitats between 100-1,000 m" (C. W. Smith, 1985; p. 194).  Naturalized in disturbed mesic forest, 30-890 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 964).

Propagation:  The seeds are dispersed by wind and water. Large numbers of seeds are stored on the tree in the fruiting capsules and are released when fire or other disturbance occurs.

Native range:  Eastern Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
"Potential invader"
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 116)
Voucher cited: F.R. Fosberg 60452 (BISH)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1980) (voucher ID: BISH 652585)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 191)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 90)
"Potential invader"
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (p. Field notes.)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 304)
Voucher cited: DA 11562
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1958) (voucher ID: BISH 33225)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 198)
Voucher cited: Florence 2523
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 2523 (PAP)
Cultivée. Assez rare à Tahiti.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 491488)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 191)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
invasive
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 95)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 964)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 964)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2010) (p. 37)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer, Wood, Perlman & Bacon H10804 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 964)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 964)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 964)
New Caledonia
Îles Bélep (Belep Islands)
Île Art native
Dawson, John Wyndham (1992) (pp. 217-222)
Voucher cited: MacKee 19324
New Caledonia
Îles Bélep (Belep Islands)
Île Pott native
Dawson, John Wyndham (1992) (pp. 217-222)
Voucher cited: MacKee 19365
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Maré native
Dawson, John Wyndham (1992) (pp. 217-222)
Voucher cited: MacKee 39016
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre native
Dawson, John Wyndham (1992) (pp. 217-222)
Numerous vouchers cited.
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1964) (voucher ID: BISH 165389)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1968) (voucher ID: BISH 401953)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1979) (voucher ID: BISH 506479)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1981) (voucher ID: BISH 580711)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1981) (voucher ID: BISH 628934)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île des Pins (Isle of Pines) native
Dawson, John Wyndham (1992) (pp. 217-222)
Voucher cited: Baumann-Bodenheim 13668, Baumann-Bodenheim 13858, Baumann-Bodenheim 13881
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Yande native
Dawson, John Wyndham (1992) (pp. 217-222)
Voucher cited: MacKee 22691
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie (1999) (p. Field notes.)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Raulerson, L./Rinehart, A. F./Falanruw, M. C. (1996) (p. 32)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Canfield, Joan E. (1980) (p. 197)
Voucher cited: Canfield 687 (US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (pp. 15-16)
Voucher: Lorence 9919 (PTBG, BNM, BISH, NY, US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1996) (voucher ID: BISH 689750)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1979) (voucher ID: BNM 1310)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T. Blake
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 212)
Taxon name on voucher: Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S.T.Blake
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
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)
Queensland native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 163)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 59)
Cultivated only
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
cultivated
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
"Cultivé/naturalisé"
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Occurs on a small area on Yap and appears to bespreading only slowly. Occasional trees seen planted on Palau don’t seem to be spreading (Space & Falanruw, 1999).

This species is a major problem in the State of Florida (U.S.) and is on the Federal noxious weed list. Planting of this species in the State of Florida (U.S.) is prohibited by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Hunsberger, 2001).

Control: 

Physical: Small seedlings can be hand-pulled. Larger trees usually require herbicide use to prevent resprouting. Follow-up control measures are needed to prevent reinvasion. Any seed capsules must be removed and destroyed.

Chemical: "In remote areas, cut stumps are treated with a wetland-approved imazapyr herbicide mixed 20 percent with water.  Trees can also be girdled with a chainsaw and the cut area treated with imazapyr diluted 50 percent with water. Basally applied herbicides are not effective"  (Randall & Marinelli, 1996).

"Frilling or cut-stump applications of imazapyr effective. In applications to drilled holes, glyphosate was very effective, dicamba and triclopyr fairly effective and 2,4-D ineffective. Saplings sensitive to foliar applications of triclopyr at 1 lb/acre"  (Motooka et al., 2003).

Biological: Biological control information from the publication "Biological control of invasive plants in the eastern United States".

Additional information:
Excerpt from the book "Weeds of Hawaii‘s Pastures and Natural Areas; An Identification and Management Guide" (Motooka et al., 2003). (PDF format).
Fact sheet on Melaleuca quinquenervia on the web site of the Alien Plants Working Group, "Weeds Gone Wild".
Fact sheet from "Common forest trees of Hawaii" (PDF format).
Fact sheet from Florabank.
Photos and additional information at University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.
Information on this species from "Silvics of North American", USDA Agriculture Handbook 654.
Information from the Purdue University NewCROP web site.
Information from the World Agroforestry Centre's AgroForestryTree Database.
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Information from the book "Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida's natural areas" (PDF format).
Additional information at the Woody Plant Ecology web site.
Articles from "Wildland Weeds".
Information from the USDA Tropical Tree Seed Manual (PDF format).

Additional online information about Melaleuca quinquenervia is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Melaleuca quinquenervia as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Melaleuca quinquenervia may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.). 1979. Voucher specimen #BNM1310(Canfield, J.E. 687).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1958. Voucher specimen #BISH 33225 (Pillay, S. 11562).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1964. Voucher specimen #BISH 165389 (Stauffer, H.U. 5756).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1968. Voucher specimen #BISH 401953 (Webster, G.L. 14422).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1979. Voucher specimen #BISH 506479 (Young, D.A. 1731).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1980. Voucher specimen #BISH 652585 (Fosberg, F.R. 60452).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1981. Voucher specimen #BISH 580711 (Stone, B.C.M. 14726).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1981. Voucher specimen #BISH 628934 (A.Wananije 39016).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1982. Voucher specimen #BISH 491488 (Florence, J. 2523).

Bishop Museum (Honolulu). 1996. Voucher specimen #BISH 689750 (Falanruw, M.V.C. LR 26606).

Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. 2009. A checklist of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore: native, naturalised and cultivated species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.

Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. 2001. Plant invaders. Earthscan Publications, Ltd., London. 241 pp.

Dawson, John Wyndham. 1992. Myrtaceae-Leptospermoideae. Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Vol. 18, 251 pp.

Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP). (online resource).

Fosberg, F. R./Canfield, Joan E. 1980. Noteworthy Micronesian plants 3. Micronesica 16(2):189-200.

Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce. 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica 15:1-295.

Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. 2010. Checklist of the vascular plants of Pohnpei with local names and uses. Allertonia, in press. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Hawai‘i. 146 pp.

Hunsberger, A. G. B. 2001. Invasive and banned plants of Miami-Dade County. U. of Fl. Extension. 3 pp.

Langeland, K. A./Burks, K. Craddock. eds. 1998. Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida's natural areas. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida. 165 pp.

Lavergne, Christophe. 2006. List des especes exotiques envahissantes a La Reunion. Unpublished manuscript (Excel file). .

Little, Elbert L./Skolmen, Roger G. 1989. Common forest trees of Hawaii (native and introduced). USDA Agriculture Handbook 679. Washington, D.C. 377 pp. + plates.

Meyer, Jean-Yves. 2000. Preliminary review of the invasive plants in the Pacific islands (SPREP Member Countries). In: Sherley, G. (tech. ed.). Invasive species in the Pacific: A technical review and draft regional strategy. South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Samoa. 190 pp.

Motooka, Philip/Castro, Luisa/Nelson, Duane/Nagai, Guy/Ching, Lincoln. 2003. Weeds of Hawaii‘s Pastures and Natural Areas; An Identification and Management Guide. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 184 pp.

Motooka, Philip/Ching, Lincoln/Nagai, Guy. 2002. Herbicidal Weed Control Methods for Pasture and Natural Areas of Hawaii. Cooperative Extension Service, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai‘i. CTAHR free publication WC-8.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.). 2008. Voucher specimen #PTBG212(David H. Lorence 9919).

Oppenheimer, Hank. 2010. New Hawaiian plant records from Maui County for 2008. In: Evenhuis, Neal L. and Eldredge, Lucias G., eds. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2008. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 107:33-40.

Randall, J. M./Marinelli, J. (eds.). 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Handbook 149. 111 pp.

Raulerson, L./Rinehart, A. F./Falanruw, M. C. 1996. A botanical reconnaissance of the proposed Compact-impact road alignment on Babeldaob Island, Republic of Palau. U. of Guam Herbarium Cont. No. 32. 78 pp.

Smith, Albert C. 1985. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 3. 758 pp.

Smith, Clifford W. 1985. Impact of Alien Plants on Hawai‘i's Native Biota. In: Stone, Charles P. and Scott, J. Michael, eds. Hawai‘i's terrestrial ecosystems: preservation and Management. Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Space, James C./Falanruw, Marjorie. 1999. Observations on invasive plant species in Micronesia. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu. Report to the Pacific Islands Committee, Council of Western State Foresters. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu. 32 pp.

Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie. 2009. Report to the Republic of Palau: 2008 update on Invasive Plant Species. USDA Forest Service, Hilo, Hawai‘i. 227 pp.

Swarbrick, John T. 1997. Weeds of the Pacific Islands. Technical paper no. 209. South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia. 124 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 pp.

Welsh, S. L. 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. E.P.S. Inc., Orem, Utah. 420 pp.

Wu, Te-lin. 2001. Check List of Hong Kong Plants. Hong Kong Herbarium and the South China Institute of Botany. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Bulletin 1 (revised). 384 pp.


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 4 JUL 2012.