Plant hyperaccumulation of the essential nutrient manganese (Mn) is a rare phenomenon most evident in the Western Pacific region, and differs from hyperaccumulation of other elements. Mn hyperaccumulators employ a variety of species-dependent spatial distribution patterns in sequestering excess foliar Mn, including primary sequestration in both nonphotosynthetic and photosynthetic tissues. This investigation employed synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) in a comparative study of Mn (hyper)accumulators, to elucidate in situ the chemical form(s) of foliar Mn in seven woody species from Australia, New Caledonia and Japan. Foliar Mn was found to predominate as Mn(II) in all samples, with strong evidence of the role of carboxylic acids, such as malate or citrate, as complexing ligands. Overall, the X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine-structure spectroscopy (EXAFS) data appeared weighted against previous observations that oxalate binds excess Mn in Mn-(hyper)accumulating species.