CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Hibiscadelphus woodii

Photographer:
S. Perlman

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Hibiscadelphus woodii


Family: 
Malvaceae  
Common Name: 
hau kuahiwi
Author: 
Lorence and W.L. Wagner
Growth Habit: 
Tree
CPC Number: 
15806

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Hibiscadelphus woodiienlarge
Photographer: S. Perlman
Image Owner: National Tropical Botanical Garden


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

 
Hibiscadelphus woodii


There are seven known species of Hibiscadelphus, an genus endemic to Hawaii, five of which are now extinct in the wild. The recently discovered (Lorence 1995) H. woodii is one of the two Hibiscadelphus species with remaining wild populations. Unfortunately, this species appears to be heading for the same fate as other members of its genus. Within one year, the size of the one wild population declined from four (USFWS 2000) to two individuals (USFWS 2001). To make matters worse, the species doesn’t appear to be producing fruit. Flowering material has been collected in March, April, and September, but no fruit set has been observed in spite of efforts to manually pollinate and bag the flowers.

H. woodii, a member of the hibiscus family (Malvaceae) is a small, branched 2.5 to 5 meters tree with a rounded crown. The leaves have stalks 2.8 to 5.8 centimeters long with star-shaped hairs when young, which are lost when the leaves mature. Flowers are borne on individual stalks 1.4 to 2.1 centimeters with star shaped hairs. Below each flower are 4 to 6 bracts 11 to 15 millimeters long and 1.8 to 4 millimeters wide. The corolla is 4.5 to 4.7 centimeters long, yellow with a coppery tinge when fresh, which rapidly turns purplish-maroon. (USFWS 1998).


Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Hawaii
State Range of  Hibiscadelphus woodii
Habitat
  H. woodii is found at elevations approximately 915 meters (3,000 ft) on basalt talus or cliff walls in Metrosideros polymorpha (ohia) montane mesic forest (USFWS 2000).

Associated species of H. woodii include Bidens sandwicensis (kookoolau), Artemisia australis (no common name [NCN]), Melicope pallida (alani), Dubautia sp. (naenae), Lepidium serra (anaunau), Lipochaeta sp. (nehe), Lysimachia glutinosa (kolokolo kuahiwi), Carex meyenii (NCN), Chamaesyce sp. (akoko), Hedyotis sp. (manono), Nototrichium sp. (kului), Panicum lineale (NCN), Myrsine sp. (kolea), and the federally endangered species Stenogyne campanulata (NCN), Lobelia niihauensis (NCN), and Poa mannii (Mann’s bluegrass).

Distribution
  H. woodii is endemic to Kaua’i and has been found only at the site of its original discovery on State owned land in Kalalau Valley, within the Na Pali Coast State Park. (USFWS 1998).

Number Left
  Number of Populations: 1 (USFWS 2001)
Number of Plants: 2 (USFWS 2001)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
9/6/1995
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/10/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
8/23/1998

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

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Unknown.

Threats
  Threats to H. woodii include:
• habitat degradation by feral goats and pigs
• competition from the invasive introduced plant species Erigeron karvinskianus (daisy fleabane)
• nectar robbing by an introduced bird, the Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus).
• The coffee twig borer (Xylosandrus compactus) is a potential threat.
• This species is also at risk of extinction from naturally occurring events (e.g. rock slides) and reduced reproductive vigor due to the small number of existing individuals at the only known site.
• A museum specimen of a liquid-preserved flower has been identified that contains three adult Nitidulidae beetles, probably an endemic species. The damage by these larvae may be responsible for the observed lack of fruit set in H. woodii (USFWS 2000).

Current Research Summary
  The Lyon Arboretum has successfully propagated H. woodii by tissue culture (USFWS 1998).

Current Management Summary
  There have been numerous attempts by NTBG to propagate H. woodii such as grafts, cuttings air layers, tissue culturing, and efforts to manually outcross and bag the flowers yet none of those attempts have proved successful. No viable seed has yet been collected (Wood et al. 2002)

Research Management Needs
  1. Research on breeding biology is needed to ensure seed production.
2. Construct exclosures around two remaining trees along the stream in Limahuli Valley and the back of Hanakapiai Valley. Once the exclosures are constructed, the area should be managed by removing weeds such as Rubus rosifolius (thimbleberry), Clidemia hirta (Koster’s curse), and Lantana camara (lantana). Without enclosures, the population of H. woodii will continue to decline due to habitat degradation by feral pigs.
3. Conduct and encourage research to reduce the impacts of the Japanese white-eye.
4. Hunting to reduce feral ungulates and subsequent control of alien plant species. After the numbers of feral ungulates are reduced, alien plant control should be initiated.
5. Begin attempts to outplant H. woodii in protected areas.
6. Conduct pollination biology and seed dispersal studies.
Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1998, 2000).

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

References

Books (Single Authors)

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. 2002. Supplement to the Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i. University of Hawaii Press.

Books (Sections)

Funk, V.A.; Wagner, W.L. 1995. Biogeography of seven ancient Hawaiian plant lineages. In: Wagner, W.L.; Funk, V.A., editors. Hawaiian Biogeography: Evolution on a Hot Spot Archipelago. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, D.C.

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

Herbst, D.R.; Wagner, W.L. 1999. Contributions to the flora of Hawai‘i. VII. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers. No. 58: 12-36.

Lorence, D.H.; Wagner, W.L. 1995. Another new, nearly extinct species of Hibiscadelphus (Malvaceae) from the Hawaiian Islands. Novon. 5, 2: 183-187.

USFWS. 1995. Proposed endangered or threatened status for nineteen plant species from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Federal Register. 60, 185: 49359-49377.

USFWS. 1996. Determination of endangered or threatened status for nineteen plant species from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Federal Register. 61, 198: 53070-53089.

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. 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.

Newspaper Articles

TenBruggencate, Jan. 1996 Sunday, April 28, 1996. Rare plants find new life in lab. The Honolulu Advertiser; Honolulu, HI.

Reports

1996. Priorities for Conservation: 1996 Annual Report Card for U.S. Plant and Animal Species. The Nature Conservancy.

USFWS. 1998. Kauai II: Addendum to the Recovery Plan for the Kauai Plant Cluster. Portland, OR: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.84+.

Wood, K.R.; Chapin, M.H.; Perlman, S.; Maunder, M. 2002. Final report on field research conducted under USFWS Grant No. 122000G001 critically endangered Hawaiian plant taxa & conservation collections within the genetic safety net (GSN). Oahu, Hawaii: Submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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