Morella faya syn. Myrica faya

Fire tree

Also known as:

Candleberry myrtle, firebush, faya tree

Family: Myricaceae

Origin: Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands

A fire tree growing in the wild.
Leaves are dark green, leathery, shiny and smooth.
Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • National Pest Plant Accord Species
  • Notifiable organism

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Evergreen shrub or small tree < 8 m tall. Branches are covered in reddish hairs. Leaves are shiny leathery, narrow, < 11 cm long, alternate and aromatic. Flowers are yellow and borne on a short spike. Fruit is red/purple/black and appears warty.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell fire tree. As fire tree is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.

If you see fire tree anywhere, you must report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Habitats

Forest, open areas, shrubland, forest margins, lava fields, cliffs, pasture, disturbed sites, roadsides.

Dispersal

Seeds dispersed by birds and other animals.

Impact on environment

Can form dense colonies and displace native species. Nitrogen fixer.

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: All parts.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

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