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. It is susceptible to damage from the introduced myoporum thrips (Klambothrips myopori; Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae), which is believed to have slowed its spread.  A recently introduced thrips-resistant cultivar (Clean n Green) has also been evaluated as potentially invasive. 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.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Assessment

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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Myoporum laetum Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - See the distribution of this species on Calflora's map of California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
  • The Plant List - Global taxonomic resource and collaborative clearinghouse from Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Missouri Botanic Garden and others.
  • GBIF - Global distribution information.
  • EDD MapS - North American distribution based on Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System.