Non-Native to Florida
Video ID segment (2-3 minutes)
Download a page (PDF 171 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
For control information, see Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)
This species is listed on the Florida Noxious Weed List – Rule 5B-57.007, making it “. . . unlawful to introduce, multiply, possess, move, or release . . . except under permit issued by the department . . . .” See 5B-57.004 for more information.
Date of introduction to Florida: 1968 (ornamental)
(from Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.)
Cupaniopsis anacardioides is occasionally found in disturbed sites along the central peninsula of Florida, and in Miami-Dade county. It is native to Australia but escaped cultivation. Carrotwood blooms from spring to summer.
Appearance: Slender evergreen tree, usually single-trunked, to 10 m (33 ft) tall, with dark gray outer bark and often orange inner bark.
Leaves: Alternate, once compound (usually even-pinnate), with petioles swollen at the base; 4–12 leaflets, stalked, oblong, leathery, shiny yellowish green, to 20 cm (8 in) long and 7.5 cm (3 in) wide; margins entire and tips rounded or slightly indented.
Flowers: Numerous, white to greenish yellow, up to 0.8 cm
Fruit: A short-stalked, woody capsule, to 2.2 cm (0.9 in) across, with 3 distinctly ridged segments; yellow orange when ripe, drying to brown and splitting open to expose 3 shiny oval black seeds covered by a yellow-red crust (aril).
Ecological threat: Invades spoil islands, beach dunes, marshes, tropical hammocks, pinelands, mangrove and cypress swamps, scrub habitats, and coastal strands; greatly altering understory habitat. FLEPPC Category I
Distribution: NW, NE, C, SW, SE
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
For more information about carrotwood, download the following publications:
See the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.