Lagunaria patersonii

Norfolk Island hibiscus

Family: Malvaceae

Origin: Australia

Norfolk Island Hibiscus shrub in flower on roadside.
An evergreen tree growing up to 15m tall. Produces prolific flowers between spring and autumn so has been a popular garden plant.
Photo credit: Holly Cox

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Parkland with Significant Ecological Areas — Site-led
  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area priority status
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Evergreen tree < 15 m tall. Flowers are white/pink and borne predominantly in September – April. Seed capsules are five-valved and borne year-round.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell Norfolk Island hibiscus within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant Norfolk Island hibiscus within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any Norfolk Island hibiscus on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Habitats

Coastal habitats, dunes, cliffs, scrub, mangroves.

Dispersal

Seeds dispersed by water and gravity. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Potential to compete with native plants.

Control

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel or ringbark stem and paste with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Drill and inject trees with 10g metsulfuron-methyl per 1L of water if safe to do so. Drill 18mm holes (tangentially angled downwards) in a spiral up the trunk. For 50mm stems drill one hole. For 100mm stems drill two holes. For larger stems drill holes 150mm apart. Foliar spray seedlings with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Safety notes

Large trees must not be drilled that are closer than 1.5 times the height of the tree from paths, walkways and property.

Trees over 4 metres in height should be removed by a qualified arborist.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Norfolk Island Hibiscus immature tree on roadside.
A hardy plant that can handle many conditions from coastal and estuarine areas to cliff faces. Flowers are white or pink and due to the long flowering season, seeds are produced all year round.
Photo credit: Holly Cox