CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Euphorbia haeleeleana

Photographer:
K. Wood

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Euphorbia haeleeleana


Family: 
Euphorbiaceae  
Common Name: 
‘Akoko
Author: 
Herbst
Growth Habit: 
Tree
CPC Number: 
1888

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Euphorbia haeleeleanaenlarge
Photographer: K. Wood
Image Owner: National Tropical Botanical Garden

Euphorbia haeleeleanaenlarge
Photographer: K. Wood
Image Owner: National Tropical Botanical Garden


Euphorbia haeleeleana is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Euphorbia haeleeleana


Euphorbia haeleeleana, is a short-lived perennial that is a member of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). It is a small dioecious tree 3 to 14 meters (10 to 46 ft) tall. It has thick branches and alternate, elliptic papery leaves 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 in) wide. The male trees have many small flowers with cyathium where the female trees have flowers with cyathia with a single female flower (Wagner et al. 1999). E. haeleeleana must be cross-pollinated from a different tree to produce viable seed (USFWS 1999). This species differs from other members of this family in Hawai’i by its tree habit rather than herb or shrub forms (Wagner et al. 1999). E. haeleeleana sets fruit between August and October.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Hawaii
State Range of  Euphorbia haeleeleana
Habitat
  E. haeleeleana is found in lowland mixed mesic or dry forests between 205 to 670 meters (673 to 2,198 ft) elevation (USFWS 1999).

Associated species to E. haeleeleana include Metrosideros polymorpha (ohia), Acacia koa (koa), Diospyros sandwicensis (lama), Aleurites moluccana (kukui), Dodonaea viscosa (aalii), Erythrina sandwicensis (wiliwili), Pleomele sp. (halapepe), Reynoldsia sandwicensis (ohe), and Sapindus oahuensis (aulu) (USFWS 1999).

Distribution
  E. haeleeleana is found the islands of Kaua’i (Ku’ia, Mahanaloa, and Ha’ele’ele valleys, ridge between Pa’aiki and Mahanaloa valleys, and Waimea Canyon), and recently discovered on the upper Kaluakauila Gulch, and in the Wai’anae Mountains on the island of O’ahu (Wagner et al. 1999).

Number Left
  Number of Populations: 15 (USFWS 2001)
Number of Plants: 450-625 (USFWS 2001)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
8/7/1990
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/10/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
7/10/1999

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Hawaii S1 4/11/2002  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  E. haeleeleana is insect-pollinated and its seeds are bird-dispersed (Sakai et al. 1995).

Threats
  Threats to E. haeleeleana include habitat degradation by black-tailed deer, goats and pigs, predation by rats, fire, and competition from non-native, invasive plants (USFWS 1999).

Current Research Summary
  The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), and the Waimea Arboretum has successfully propagated E. haeleeleana.

Current Management Summary
  A report entitled “U.S. Army Garrison Hawai’i, O’ahu Training Areas, Natural Resource Management Final Report” has been completed by the Army Environmental Staff. This report entails detailed management plans and descriptions of completed actions for each endangered species that occurs on Army land. The Army Environmental staff has also conducted intensive rat control around the Keawaula population in order to collect seed and be able to propagate seed in their seedhouse (USFWS 1998).

Fences were constructed by the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) enclosing about half the individuals of E. haeleeleana in Mahanaloa Valley on Kaua’i (USFWS 1999).

DLNR-DOFAW Kauai has out-planted 13 plants grown at NTBG from 3 source collections.

NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of seeds in their seed bank, which represents four out of the fifteen populations. In addition, there are 29 plants that represent two populations growing in the botanical garden.

In May 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)

Research Management Needs
  1. Construct enclosures to protect populations against feral ungulates. Testing the effects of fencing would be the first priority before constructing the enclosures.
2. Control competing alien species such as Lantana camara (lantana), Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava), Grevillea robusta (silk oak), Melinus minutiflora (molasses grass), Passiflora mollisima (banana poka) and Rubus rosifolius (thimbleberry). Weed control is also necessary within existing exclosures such as Mahanaloa Valley.
3. Maintain adequate genetic stock. Ex situ propagation should be continued to prevent extinction. Propagation materials should be collected immediately from populations with few individuals, such as Haeleele Valley, Kawaiula Valley, Koaie Canyon, and Pohakuao on Kaua’i, and Kahanahaiki Valley, and Kaumokuiki Ridge on O’ahu.
4. Enhance wild populations and establish new populations. After propagated material is available, and after fencing and weeding are underway, outplanting should be done to enhance wild population. New populations should be established within the historic range of Euphorbia haeleeleana.
5. Reduce threats from rats. A management plan should be developed and implemented to control the rat population.
6. Protect plants from fire. A fire plan should be developed and implemented, especially by the Army on the Makua Military Reservation where current ordinance training exercises could unintentionally ignite fires.
7. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of E. haeleeleana.
8. Conduct pollination studies on E. haeleeleana.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1999).

Ex Situ Needs
  1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation.
2. Survey ex situ holdings and conduct molecular fingerprinting.
3. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for E. haeleeleana.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Sohmer, S.H.; Gustafson, R. 1987. Plants and Flowers of Hawaii. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press. 160p.

Wagner, W.L.; Bruegmann, M.M.; Herbst, D.R; Lau, J.Q.C. 1999. Hawaiian Vascular Plants at Risk: 1999. Honolulu, HI: Bishop Museum Press Honolulu.

Wagner, W.L.; Herbst, D.R.; Sohmer, S.H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i--Revised Edition. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press. 1853p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

NatureServe. (2008). NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. [Internet].Version 7.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. Accessed: (June 17, 2008).

USFWS. (2001). Unpublished data. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. Accessed: 2001.

Journal Articles

Sakai, A.K.; Wagner, W.L.; Ferguson, D.M.; Herbst, D.R. 1995. Origins of Dioecy in the Hawaiian Flora. Ecology. 76, 8: 2517-2529.

USFWS. 1976. Proposed Endangered Status for 1700 U.S. Plants. Federal Register. 41: 24523-24572.

USFWS. 1995. Proposed endangered or threatened status for fourteen plant taxa from the Hawaiian Islands. Federal Register. 60, 190: 53108-53124.

USFWS. 1996. Determination of endangered or threatened status for fourteen plant taxa from the Hawaiian Islands. Federal Register. 61, 198: 53108-53124.

USFWS. 2000. Determinations of Whether Designation of Critical Habitat is Prudent for 81 Plants and Proposed Designations for 76 Plants From the Islands of Kauai and Niihau, Hawaii; [Proposed Rule]. Federal Register. 65, 216: 66807-66885.

USFWS. 2002. Designations of Critical Habitat for Plant Species From the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. Federal Register. 67, 102: 37108-37156.

USFWS. 2002. Revised Determinations of Prudency and Proposed Designations of Critical Habitat for Plant Species from the Islands of Kauai and Niihau, Hawaii. Federal Register. 67, 18: 3940-4098.

Reports

USFWS. 1999. Recovery Plan for Multi-Island Plants. Portland, Oregon: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.206 + appendices.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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