- Forms thick stands, shades out native plants and completely takes over moist and wet forests creating a monotypic forest
- Forms an umbrella over the watershed, reducing the amount of rainwater that seeps into the watershed
- Shallow root systems promote erosion, degrading the quality of surface water and increasing sedimentation of nearshore reefs
- Sand-grained sized seeds easily spread by birds and other animals when they eat the fruit. Seeds also spread by people when contaminated dirt or mud sticks to shoes, clothing, equipment, or vehicles
- Introduced to Tahiti in 1937 and has since overwhelmed two-thirds of Tahiti’s forests, and is directly responsible for threatening 25% of their native forest species with extinction
- Self Fertilizing- One sand sized seed, eaten by a bird and excreted far away, can create a new monotypic forest
- Grows up to 49 with broad distinct leaves and shallow roots
- Large oval-shaped leaves, green on top, purple underneath, with three main midribs running from stem to leaf-tip, each leaf can get up to 3′ wide
- Flowers are small in size, white to light pink in color, grow on a stalk in clusters
- Fruits are plentiful, dark purple, sweet and attractive to birds
Miconia (Miconia calvescens)
Photos (L-R): BIISC, Forest & Kim Starr, BIISC
Physical control: Smaller saplings can be pulled out by hand. Cut mature trees and repeat as needed. Multiple stems will regrow from the stump. Dispose of green waste to prevent vegetative reproduction.
- Effective herbicide:
- Pathfinder II (Triclopyr ester 13.6%) label
- Directions: From the ground to a height of 12 to 15 inches, apply a band of herbicide ranging from 25-60 ml (0.84 – 2.02 oz). Spray just enough so that the herbicide doesn’t run off onto the ground. Ensure all sides are covered.
Biocontrol: The miconia butterfly (Euselasia chrysippe) is a potential biocontrol candidate for Hawai‛i. In its caterpillar stage, the herbivore miconia butterflies feed in tight-knit groups of 40-80 or more on the leaves of miconia.