Citharexylum spinosum L.

This evergreen, medium-sized tree does not have the spines that its scientific name suggests. It forms crowded stands even in undisturbed habitats and is dispersed by alien frugivorous birds. Its fire response in Hawai'i is unknown. It has not been evaluated for biological control.

The tree has escaped only recently and is a pest only on O'ahu. Gerrish and Mueller-Dombois (1980) describe 2 infestations at Tantalus and Pupukea. However, extensive use as an ornamental by landscapers on other islands will result in infestations there also.

It grows in dry habitats generally below 500 m. There is a population at the bottom of the cliffs in Waimanalo in a very dry habitat. This population is deciduous during the dry season, and it can be seen from a considerable distance when the leaves turn orange prior to fall.

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