Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cupania, Carrotwood, Brush Deal, Tuckeroo
Cupaniopsis anacardioides

Family: Sapindaceae (sap-in-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cupaniopsis (ku-pan-ee-OP-sis) (Info)
Species: anacardioides (an-a-kar-dee-OH-id-eez) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Vines and Climbers

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 21 photos.
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1 positive
4 neutrals
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral freedomfarmer On Apr 19, 2013, freedomfarmer from Boynton Beach, FL wrote:

i just noticed my chickens like the seeds that come out of the fruit!

has anyone out there ever had chickens feed on them?? any info if they are safe for them?

i imagine they are because chickens seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to edibles and non edibles

Positive ljb3762 On Jul 6, 2011, ljb3762 from Van Nuys, CA wrote:

Everything written about this being a messy the tree is true. I imagine that it also spreads out of control in Florida. :-(

It also produces a lot of shade. :-) In the summer, when it's 100+/- degrees in the San Fernando Valley, it's feels about 20 degrees cooler under the carrot wood tree. We went to a pool party at a friend's home for the 4th of July. The entire yard was a concrete area around the pool which felt 20 degrees hotter than 100, EXCEPT in one corner where our friend's neighbor's carrot wood tree grew over the yard, and it was 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the concrete area. Everyone who could do so, put their chair under the carrot wood tree. We suffered for a few hours, then went home to lie under our own carrot wood tree.

Neutral ggibbs1 On Apr 3, 2011, ggibbs1 from Redondo Beach, CA wrote:

Thanks to you guys I have determined what my tree is. My wife found some seeds one day telling me they were palm tree seeds. Anyway, I planted them in two corners of the yard hoping to obscure our neighbors view of our backyard someday. Well, it exceeded my expectations for obscurity but most certainly is not a palm tree. It is a beautiful tree but I was unaware of its pervasiveness. I am in southern California and as far as I know it is not banned here yet. Like all of you said, the animals love it. They are both at least 20 feet tall and that was achieved in just 4 years, amazing!

Neutral karenandal On May 30, 2010, karenandal from Port Charlotte, FL wrote:

Wow, thank you everyone. I just have one in my yard. The wild birds love it..I did not know it was so hated or dangerous. It was here when we moved in.

Negative JCasey On Oct 28, 2009, JCasey from Yorba Linda, CA wrote:

The seed pods are so heavy they break the branches.
The seeds are everywhere and will ruin your lawn.
Birds love the seeds. The cars are all covered with bird s___.

Negative CindyDale On Jan 23, 2006, CindyDale from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Yep, it's invasive in Florida. I have one that popped up and embedded itself in a fence.

Negative jnana On May 18, 2005, jnana from South Florida, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

This tree was widely planted in my area and quickly it became a pest. Birds spread the seeds all over. I must have removed countless seedlings from my yard. It grows very fast and in no time there can be a full size Carrotwood growing in one's yard. It is listed as a Category I of highly invasive trees by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.
It should not be planted in Florida.

Negative NativePlantFan9 On Jan 20, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Carrotwood or Brush Deal (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) is a highly invasive and weedy tree in central and southern Florida and the Keys (zones 9a through 11). It spreads rapidly by many, many seeds (dispersed by birds to natural areas and natural habitats) that are dispersed far from the mature, seed-producing tree to other areas where they may grove and quickly choke out surrounding vegetation in natural areas and habitats and disturbed areas. The mature tree produces highly invasive orangish seeds (small and green when not ripe) that are dispersed by birds and wildlife to locations and natural areas nearby as well as very far distances from the seed-producing tree, and where they are dispersed, if not controlled, they grow extremely fast into mature trees and push out surrounding (including native) vegetation. In many areas of central and southern Florida it is just as nearly invasive as Brazilian Pepper and Casuarina (Australian Pines) and can even compete with other highly invasive, exotic, Category One (FLEPPC) species, including those two species. This species is highly adaptable and is spreading in a wide variety of habitats, including disturbed areas, scrub, pinelands, natural area perimeters, mangrove swamps and salty habitats near the coasts, vacant lots, hammock edges, hammocks, coastal scrub, and many, many other natural habitats in central and southern Florida. It can even thrive in areas already disturbed by other exotic invaders. This tree has already become a large problem in many natural areas throughout central and southern Florida and the Keys and is very difficult to eradicate. It is now listed as a Category One Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC).

This tree and seedlings/seeds was previously introduced into Florida by nursery growers for landscaping fairly recently in around the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. It was also introduced into southern California for same and similar purposes. It quickly became popular in central and southern Florida as a landscape tree and as late as the 1970s and 1980s was valued as a landscape tree and ornamental - until land managers concluded that this species was invasive in central and southern Florida natural habitats. Now, they are not as popular and are already prohibited by Palm Beach County as well as by other counties in central and southern Florida. It is also listed as a noxious weed. Still, some people continue to propagate this in central and southern Florida, despite that it is highly invasive along the southeast and southwest coasts up into the central Florida coasts. In mangrove swamps on the southeast and southwest coasts of Florida, this species has spread extremely quickly and has become very invasive in such natural habitats. Lots of seedlings and young trees as well as adult trees are now often encountered. I once saw a tree with several young sprouts all around it... even good distances from it.

Here are most of the counties where this species has been or is found in Florida:
Indian River
St. Lucie
Palm Beach
Monroe (the Keys)

Many other counties (such as interior counties) in central and southern Florida also probably have this.

It is still popular in southern California as a landscape tree.

This tree is also invasive in the average landscape. Despite it's attractive looks, it is too invasive for central and southern Florida and SHOULD NOT BE PLANTED.

Listed as a Category One Invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC).

This tree is native to Australia, Irian Jaya and parts of Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It can grow up to 40 feet tall in it's native range or more.

Negative MotherNature4 On Feb 21, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Carrotwood is listed as a Category I Exotic Pest Plant in the state of Florida. The DEP has identified it as Noxious.


Neutral palmbob On Feb 20, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Used commonly in Southern California as a avenue and landscape tree. Looks a bit like a Macadamia nut tree. Makes a nice globular sillohuette- neat tree.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anaheim, California
Fullerton, California
La Habra, California
Lake San Marcos, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Pasadena, California
Redlands, California
Redondo Beach, California
San Diego, California
South Pasadena, California
Wildomar, California
Winnetka, California
Yorba Linda, California
Boca Raton, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Port Charlotte, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
League City, Texas

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