Prunus campanulata

Taiwan cherry

Family: Rosaceae

Origin: Asia

A close up of a bunch of Taiwan cherry flowers.
A deciduous tree that can grow up to 8m tall. Taiwan cherry flowers form in spring and are bright pink and very attractive to native birds.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Taiwan cherry is here defined as all Prunus campanulata cultivars, except the sterile cultivars ‘Mimosa’ and ‘Pink clouds’. Deciduous tree < 8 m tall. Leaves are < 13 x 6 cm and serrated. Flowers are bell-shaped, pink/deep red and borne in July – September. Fruits are shiny, scarlet cherries < 1.2 x 1 cm.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2022:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell Taiwan cherry within the Auckland region. This includes selling within the Auckland region to out-of-region buyers.
  • You must not plant Taiwan cherry 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 Taiwan cherry 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.


Forest, canopy gaps, forest and riparian margins, roadsides.


Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from suckers. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste, deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Likely to displace native plants in native forests. May reduce plant functional diversity in invaded forests.


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 or pull out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seed heads if practical.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


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.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 1g 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.

Mature Taiwan Cherry in full bloom.
Well known for being a favourite of tuis, Taiwan cherry has been planted to attract birds to home gardens. Seeds are easily germinated and spread quickly into native forests.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Tall Taiwan Cherry in full flower.
Once flowers are pollinated, they form into small shiny cherries which are attractive to birds. Birds then carry seeds far into native forests where seeds germinate.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow