Myoporum laetum

Myoporum laetum_JM DiTomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: ngaio tree; false sandalwood; mousehole tree

Myoporum laetum (myoporum) is an evergreen shrub or small tree (family Myoporaceae) found along the coast of California and in the San Francisco Bay region. It favors coastal areas, woodlands and riparian areas. This landscape ornamental has white flowers with purple dots and reddish-purple fruits. Myoporum has escaped cultivation in many areas, and is commonly found near urban areas. Myoporum may crowd out native plants, growing to form dense stands. Myoporum foliage contains toxic chemical compounds that can cause fatal liver damage in livestock, so grazing is not a control option. Mature plants are commonly treated by cutting at ground level and painting the stump with an herbicide.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

  • USDA PLANTS database -
    Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from the UC Berkeley Jepson Herbarium.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Natural Resource Projects Inventory - State database with information on resource management projects throughout California. Query by the species of interest.

Symposium Presentations

  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2004). Partnering to prevent invasions of plants of horticultural origin. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2005). Don't sell a pest: A new partnership to prevent plant invasions through horticulture. Cal-IPC News. 13: 4-5,14.
  • Goode, S. (1998). Legendary stewardship award. CalEPPC News. 6: 10.
  • Harris, G. (1998). Invasive New Zealand weeds: Our native plant invaders. CalEPPC News. 6: 8-9.
  • Kelly, M. (1999). Roundup of Arundo projects reveals commitment, strategic weakness. CalEPPC News. 7: 4-9.