Weed Identification

Australia > > Trumpet Tree

Trumpet Tree

Cecropia peltata

IMPORTANT: IF YOU SUSPECT THE PRESENCE OF THIS PLANT, PLEASE REPORT IT BY CALLING 1800 084 881 (local call cost anywhere in Australia).

Family: Urticaceae.

Form: Tree

Origin: Native from southern Mexico to northern Brazil and to Caribbean Islands.

Flowers/Seedhead: Flowers yellowish. Flowers all year round.

Description: Tree to 20 m high. Stems with U-shaped leaf scars. Leaves round in outline, with 711 lobes; seedling leaves unlobed. Fruit grey-green, slightly fleshy, single-seeded. Seeds brown, about 2 mm long.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by hollow stems partitioned at nodes; lobed leaves 1060 cm wide with the stalk attached away from the margin, upper surface dark green, lower surface densely covered with white hairs; male and female flowers on different plants; male flowers initially enclosed in a bract and mostly in 1525 spikes, 0.56 cm long; female flowers initially enclosed in a bract and in 3 or 4 (rarely 5) spikes 14 cm long; fruit in spikes 25.5 (rarely to 9) cm long, succulent.

Dispersal: Spread by bird- and bat-dispersed seed.

Confused With: Leaves can be confused with Ricepaper Plant, Tetrapanax papyrifer. Cecropia species are closely related and may be part of a 'complex' of taxa .

Growing at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens
Brisbane, Qld, Sept
photos S. Navie

Notes: Grown as an ornamental in Australia. In its native range it is a pioneer species that grows in wetter areas, particularly in canopy gaps where it may become the dominant species. A weed of forests in a number of countries. Plants are not tolerant of shade and shaded plants do not survive. Wood is very light and has been used as a substitute for balsa.


    Cecropia. Flora Neotropica Monongraph 94. C. Berg and P. Rosselli, 2005, pages 142149, 70. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. E. Weber, 2003, page 90.

Flowers, bracts & leaf scars on stem


Lobed leaves

This weed has been included in the WEEDeck field guide as card T38

More information about WEEDeck is available from Sainty & Associates Pty. Ltd.


Australia > > Trumpet Tree


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