Introduced invasive plants species replace native species, changing forest structure and composition, which has wide-ranging repercussions for animal foraging and nesting habitat as well as hydrology.   Non-native plants arrive in Hawai’i in a number of ways-sometimes purposeful and sometimes accidental.  Kahili ginger (Hedychium gardenerianum) and miconia (Miconia calvescens) were introduced as ornamentals and are now dispersed by non-native birds and feral ungulates.  These plants form monotypic (i.e., single species) stands and prevent the growth of native plants.  Another very detrimental species is strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), which has converted large expanses of diverse native forest to monotypic stands.  Strawberry guava was introduced for agricultural purposes.  To prevent the further spread of alien plant species, visitors should carefully brush seeds from boots, clothing, and gear before venturing into Kaua’i’s forests. Also, pack out your garbage! For more information on preventing the “Silent Invasion”, see

Kahili Ginger

Kahili Ginger-Photo by Anna Yoke

Australian Tree Fern

Australian Tree Fern-Photo by Ruby Hammond

Invasive Ginger

Invasive Ginger-Photo by Ruby Hammond