Smoke bush, known also as butterfly bush, is an aggressive shrub that is on the Hawaii Department of Forestry and Wildlife’s list, “Hawaii’s Most Invasive Horticultural Plants”. This species is rated “HIGH RISK” for invasiveness, with a score of “7” by the Weed Risk Assessment for Hawaii and Pacific Islands. Smoke bush is recognized as an invasive species in Florida, Australia, South Africa, and in the Caribbean.
- Viney shrub with dense, sprawling habit
- Clusters of small, orange, attractive, fragrant flowers
- Gray-green leaves 3-5″ long
- Seeds born in pulpy fruits on terminal clusters
- Native to Madagascar, introduced to Hawaii as an ornamental plant
- Aggressive invader of disturbed areas at mid to low elevations, including open range, stream beds, and gulches
- Forms dense stands that crowd out and compete with native plants
- Plant produces numerous fruit that are attractive to birds, which disperse the seeds.
- Mechanical and chemical control of this species is difficult.
On the island of Hawaii:
- Infestations in Volcano, Puna, Waimea, Paauilo, South Kona. Targeted for control by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC)