Scaevola taccada

Common Name(s): Half flower, beach naupaka

Non-Native to Florida

Origin: East Africa to India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands 1

This species appears on the following legally prohibited plant lists


CATEGORY I on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s (FLEPPC) 2015 List of Invasive Plant Species

UF-IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas

Download a recognition card (PDF) from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know2

Download a page (PDF) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition1

Control information: Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (EDIS publication SP 242)3

Half-flower is occasionally found growing in coastal strands in the central and southern peninsula of Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). It is native to the Indian and Pacific Ocean region but escaped from cultivation. Scaevola taccada blooms year round.



Large, bushy shrub to 5 m (16 ft) tall, often forming dense hemispherical mounds.


Simple, closely alternate, crowded at stem tips; blades thick, shiny green, wider near tips, to 21 cm (8.3 in) long; glabrous to hairy on both sides, margins revolute, light green becoming yellow with age; leaf axils with tufts of pale hairs.


White to pale lilac, several in short clusters at leaf axils; 5 petals, partially fused, split to base on upper side so that petal lobes spread fanlike into a lower lip.


A fleshy, sub-spherical drupe, green then white, 8–12 mm (0.3–0.5 in) long, with sepal lobes persistent at tip.

Ecological threat

Appears to be supplanting native coastal vegetation and has begun to displace rare native beach plants, such as the inkberry and the Florida endangered sea lavender. FLEPPC Category I.



Text from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards 2


View more information and pictures about half-flower, as contained in the Langeland/Burks book. 1




1. 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 Publication # SP 257. 2008.

2. Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards,
by A. Richard and V. Ramey. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 431. 2007.

3. Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida, by K. A. Langeland, J. A. Ferrell, B. Sellers, G. E. MacDonald, and R. K. Stocker. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 242. 2011.

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