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Deciduous, small, spreading tree usually 3-8m tall when mature. Leaves are hairless, thin, usually 130x60mm with a long tapered tip. Red bell-shaped flowers appear between July-September, hanging in clusters of 2-3 on short stalks. Fruit are scarlet, up to 12x10mm, like a small cherry. Seeds are up to 9mm long.
Preferred habitats include native forest, including urban fragments, regenerating secondary bush, and relatively intact forest via canopy gaps, edges and riparian margins. Roadsides. Occasionally occurs as an epiphyte. Tolerates semi-shade. Urban forest fragments are the most invaded, likely due to current propagule pressure more than environmental tolerances.
Taiwan cherry invades all types of shrublands, light gaps in the forest, roadsides, gardens and reserves. It has the potential to spread and dominate over native vegetation displacing it completely and negatively impacting on entire naturally occurring ecosystems.