Moderately restricted distribution (not Asia, limited Africa). In Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Fast-growing pioneer tree invasive in cocoa and coffee plantations, roadsides, shifting cultivation. Growing vigorously in full sunlight, fertile, well-drained soils, rainfall 2000-5000mm annually. Large seed production. Planted within native forests in Vanuatu, and later spreading to adjacent overgrazed pastures. Invasive in FSM, Samoa and Tonga.
Up to 35m high, to 50cm diameter. Leaves lance-shaped to oval up to 15cm, slightly rough to smooth on stalks 1-3cm. Flowers in groups up to 30cm across, arising from leaf axils or terminally, individually white, five lobes 5-7mm, surrounded by 10-ribbed leaf-like calyx. Fruit cylindrical, enclosed by remains of flowers, containing single seed.
Spread: short distances by root suckers; longer distances by seed on the wind. Distributed worldwide as a plantation or shade species.