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Invasive species


Animal or plant species that after being introduced in a location, threatens the survival of other species.


Foto Paulo Henrique Silva | SIARAM
Lily-of-the-Valley Tree Clethra arborea
Description Evergreen bush or small trees, hairy branches, to 8 m. Leaves are simple and serrulate, oblanceolate, sharply pointed, to 15 x 5 cm. Flowers in terminal panicles, simple or branched. 5 ovate sepals and 5 obovoid petals, white, to 8 x 5 mm. Fruit is a dry, hairy capsule, to 3.5 mm, with many seeds. Very common in forests of Laurel, in ravines and hillsides, from 500 to 800 m.
Taxonomic Status Introduced in São Miguel. Endemic to Madeira.


Foto Paulo Henrique Silva | SIARAM
Yellow Ginger-Lilly Hedychium gardneranum
Description Robust simple stems with leaves, more or less erect. Thick rhizome and sharply pointed oblong leaves, to 50 x 20 cm. Flowers perfumed, corolla to 5 cm. Petals yellow, red filaments, 5-6 cm. Anthers 1-1.5 cm, yellow. Fruit is a fleshy capsule, orange coloured inside. Introduced as ornamental but escaped, very common, invasive throughout the archipelago, absent only from some coastal areas and above 950 m.
Taxonomic Status Introduced, present in all islands of Azores. Native of the Himalayas and Nepal.


Foto Paulo Henrique Silva | SIARAM
Australian Cheesewood Pittosporum undulatum
Description Evergreen tree, to 25 m. Leaves simple, lanceolate, to 15 x 4 cm, pointed, highly aromatic, undulate margins. White petals, 10-15 mm. Fruit, an orange obovoid capsule. Escaped ornamental, invasive and fast spreading, dominant on all the islands, from 50 to 650 m.
Taxonomic Status Introduced, present in all islands of the Azores. Native to Australia.


Chilean Rhubarb
Gunnera tinctoria
Description Robust creeping rhizome. Giant leaves, with petiole up to 1.5 m and coriaceous lamina to 2 m. Leaf margins serrulate. Flowers in dense, highly branched panicles; 2 sepals and 2 petals. Fruit is a small fleshy drupe. Escaped ornamental, extremely invasive in wet meadows, ravines and hillsides in the region of Furnas, from 500 to 700 m.
Taxonomic Status Introduced in São Miguel. Native to South America.


Australian Blackwood
Acacia melanoxylon
Description Evergreen tree, to 25 m. Young leaves bipinnate, later reduced to 3-5 veined phillodes, to 13 x 2 cm. Small flowers, pale yellow. Fruit in a compressed pod, to 12 x 1 cm. Seeds surrounded by a red funicle. Cultivated for wood. Perfectly adapted and spreading in ravines and forests to 700 m.
Taxonomic Status Introduced present in all islands of the Azores except Corvo. Native to Australia.


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