Rediscovery of Melicope quadrangularis (Rutaceae) and other notable plant records for the island of Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i
Rediscovery of Melicope quadrangularis (Rutaceae) and other notable
plant records for the island of Kaua‘i
National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo,
Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i 96741, USA; email: email@example.com
Although several previously funded surveys by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS) and the National tropical Botanical garden (NtBg) between 1993 and pres-
ent had failed to relocate any living individuals of the Kaua‘i endemic Melicope quad-
(Rutaceae), a recent USFWS-funded survey has brought about its rediscovery
and is reported here. in addition, Bidens hillebrandiana subsp. polycephala (Asteraceae)
has been documented on Kaua‘i for the first time, possibly indicating a recent inter-island
introduction; and a single individual of Lysimachia filifolia (Primulaceae) was discovered
within the remote upper headwater drainages of Wainiha, representing the only known liv-
ing individual on Kaua‘i.
(drake) o. deg. ex Sherff
subsp. polycephala Nagata & ganders
New island record
Previously recorded from the islands of Moloka‘i and Maui, Bidens hillebrandiana subsp.
has now been documented along the coastal strand of Kalalau, Kaua‘i.
Although all Hawaiian Bidens have evolved with reduced dispersal ability (Carlquist
1974) and are predominantly single-island endemics (Wagner et al. 1990; Knope et al.
2012), B. hillebrandiana subsp. polycephala has retained some ancestral mechanisms for
dispersal by birds (i.e., setose achenes with spreading awns) and is usually associated with
near-shore bluffs and cliffs that are frequented by sea birds. in 2013, ca. 50 plants of this
species were discovered around a Kalalau coastal bluff site that had been botani-
cally surveyed by the senior author numerous times in the past without being previously
detected. the presence of B. hillebrandiana subsp. polycephala on Kaua‘i may possibly
be an example of a recent natural inter-island introduction by sea birds, which are often
seen in the general region. Plants are being cultivated by the NtBg.
Material examined. KAUA‘I: Hanalei distr., Kalalau, coastline around river mouth, Scaevola
taccada coastal shrubland, with Chenopodium oahuense, Artemisia australis, Vigna marina,
Capparis sandwichiana, Panicum fauriei var. latius, Lysimachia mauritiana, Adiantum capillus-
veneris, threatened by goats, landslides, Digitaria ciliaris, 3 m elev., herb, decumbent, 25–35 cm tall,
several older plants dried up, a few with flowering left, some achenes, ca. 50 plants, observed most-
ly on north side of Kalalau Stream, a few on south side of stream near heiau, 26 Jul 2013, Wood,
Kirkpatrick & Clark 15589 (PtBg).
Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2013. Edited by
Neal L. Evenhuis Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 115: 29–32
1. Contribution No. 2014-006 the Hawaii Biological Survey.
2. Research Associate, Hawaii Biological Survey, Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96817-
Published online: 27 March 2014
C.N. Forbes & Lydgate
the extremely rare Hawaiian primrose Lysimachia filifolia has been recorded on Kaua‘i
and o‘ahu. in 1912 John Lydgate made the holotype collection in upper olokele, Kaua‘i
below the Kawaikini summit (Wagner et al. 1990; Marr & Bohm 1997; Wood 2012), and
subsequently, up till now, the only other reported collection from Kaua‘i was made in
2008 in the Waikoko headwater region, below Kamanu Ridge (Wood 2012). Plants of L.
on Kaua‘i can be erect shrubs up to 1.5 m tall as compared to the o‘ahu plants,
which are smaller, more delicate, and only known to be pendulous (Wood 2012). Within
the Ko‘olau Mountain Range of o‘ahu several colonies still remain around waterfall sites
of Uwao, Waianu, and Waiāhole Streams. Recent research around the only known Kaua‘i
colony of L. filifolia (i.e., Waikoko) revealed that a large landslide had destroyed the
plants, causing a regional extinction from a singular stochastic event (Wood, pers. obs.).
Fortunately, in october 2013 a single plant was documented on the northwestern side of
Kaua‘i, within the upper headwaters of Wainiha Valley. the Kaua‘i Plant extinction
Prevention (PeP) Program and NtBg are planning for additional surveys to attempt con-
servation collections and to search for additional plants around this last known individual
on Kaua‘i. there is also potential for additional colonies around the holotype locality of
olokele, Kaua‘i, which is privately owned and historically off-limits for biotic surveys.
Material examined. KAUA‘I
: Līhu‘e distr., upper olokele Valley, Jan. 1912, Lydgate 2
type, BiSH); Līhu‘e distr., Waikoko headwaters, below Kamanu Ridge, S of Wailua River and above
Wailua ditch, associated with Cheirodendron, Pipturus spp., Dubautia, Cyrtandra, Kadua centran-
thoides, K. elatior, K. foggiana, Psychotria, Melicope, Machaerina, Isachne, with ferns of Micro -
lepia, Asplenium, Cyclosorus, Deparia, terrestrial in Diplazium with Boehmeria grandis, threats
include pigs, landslides, Buddleia asiatica, and Erigeron karvinskianus, 732 m elev., 1.5 m tall with
erect stems brown-red, pendent corolla light purple, terrestrial near land slide and on wet cliff, ca 30
plants, 12 Jan 2008, Wood 12774 (BiSH, PtBg); Hanalei distr., Wainiha, upper northeastern fork,
closed Metrosideros lowland wet forest, 8–12 m canopy, surrounded by steep valley walls with
Dicranopteris and mixed shrubs, understory dominated by Antidesma with Syzygium, Broussaisia,
Perrottetia, Cyrtandra spp., Psychotria spp., Dubautia spp., Labordia spp., Coprosma waimeae,
Cheirodendron spp., Polyscias kavaiensis, and P. oahuensis, rich fern and bryophyte understory,
threatened by pigs, rats, slugs, Sphaeropteris cooperi, Buddleia asiatica, Clidemia hirta, Hedychium
gardnerianum, Juncus planifolius, Erigeron karvinskianus, Psidium guajava, Cyperus meyenianus,
and Rubus rosifolius, 845 m elev., herb, 30 cm tall, unbranched young plant, vegetative, single plant
seen, 10 oct 2013, Wood & Kishida 15697 (PtBg).
Melicope quadrangularis (H. St. John &
e.P. Hume) t.g. Hartley & B.C. Stone
is a Kaua‘i endemic tree known from the holotype collection
made by Charles Forbes in 1909, and rediscovered in the same general region of Wahiawa
in May 1991 (Lorence et al. 1995; Lorence & Flynn 1997). the rediscovered population,
consisting of 13 trees in close proximity, was subsequently destroyed by Hurricane ‘iniki
in September 1992 (Wood 2000, 2009, 2011) and reported as possibly extinct, as no liv-
ing individuals were known (Wood 2012). Recent field research funded by the USFWS
has rediscovered four individuals of this taxon in the headwater region of Wai‘ahi Stream,
ca. 2 km to the north of the holotype locality. Fruit capsules were present and seeds are
actively being monitored for collection by PeP and NtBg. Melicope quadrangularis can
BISHOP MUSEUM OCCASIONAL PAPERS: No. 115, 2014
be easily distinguished from other Melicope
species on Kaua‘i by its large, 12–14 mm
long × 19–22 mm wide, cube-shaped capsules that have an unusual central depression at
their apex, yet can be very difficult to recognize when not in fruit (Wood 2012). the
extreme vulnerability of these last known individuals of M. quadrangularis cannot be
overstated, especially being a wet forest understory species susceptible to the severe
storms that frequent Kaua‘i. Continued botanical surveys are encouraged in order to dis-
cover more individuals and prevent the extinction of this taxon. Recommended regions
for survey include the prime Metrosideros wet forests of Wahiawa and adjacent drainages
to its north, including Kamo‘oloa, Wai‘ahi, ‘iole, and ‘ili‘ili‘ula.
Material examined. KAUA‘I: Līhu‘e distr., vicinity of Wahiawa Swamp, Aug 1909, C. N.
Forbes 273.K (holotype, BiSH); Līhu‘e distr., Wahiawa, drainage between Hulua and Kapalaoa,
Metrosideros-Dicranopteris lowland wet forest with Syzygium, Polyscias oahuensis & P. waialealae,
Labordia, Perrottetia, area rich with bryophytes, threats include severe storms, pigs, rats, Psidium
cattleianum & P. rosifolius, Melastoma candidum, 820 m, 2 m tall, branches ascending, 13 trees in
general area, 20 May 1991, Wood, Flynn & Lorence 0859 (PtBg); loc. cit., with Broussaisia, Eurya,
Cyanea coriacea, Labordia hirtella, Syzygium
, 850 m, 4 m tall tree, 13 trees in general area, single
tree in fruit, 13 cm diameter at base, vigorous, east aspect, 20 May 1991, Wood, Flynn & Lorence
(PtBg); Līhu‘e distr., Wai‘ahi, upper southern headwaters, Metrosideros-Cheirodendron
mixed wet forest with dissecting drainages and matting ferns of Diplopterygium & Dicranopteris,
with Broussaisia arguta, Perrottetia sandwicensis, Touchardia latifolia, Pipturus albidus, P. ruber,
Psychotria mariniana, P. hexandra, Antidesma platyphylla var. hillebrandii, Polyscias oahuensis,
Kadua affinis, Melicope wawraeana, Vaccinium calycinum, Coprosma kauaense, Dubautia laxa, D.
paleata, D. imbricata subsp. acronaea, Sadleria spp., Cyanea hirtella, C. recta, C. kahiliensis, C.
fissa, Machaerina angustifolia, M. mariscoides, Cyrtandra pickeringii, C. paludosa, C. heinrichii, C.
longifolia, and C. kealiae, immediate threats include rats, goats, pigs, slugs, Clidemia hirta, Rubus
rosifolius, Axonopus fissifolius, Juncus planifolius, Cyperus meyenianus, Paspalum conjugatum,
Psidium cattleianum. Melastoma candidum, Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, Sphaeropteris cooperi,
Sacciolepis indica, 830 m elev, tree, 3 m tall, moderately branched, stems covered in moss, imma-
ture fruit cauliflorous, tree 10 m above small side gulch, west aspect, single individual, 19 Nov 2013,
Wood, Kirkpatrick & Perlman 15728
(PtBg); Līhu‘e distr., Wai‘ahi, upper central headwaters, 820
m elev, tree 2.5 m tall, few-branched, trunk 7 cm diameter near base, stems gray-brown, with fruit,
5–7 m above gulch bottom, 30 dec 2013, Wood, Kirkpatrick & Perlman 15773 (PtBg); loc. cit., 823
m elev, tree, 3 m tall, moderately branched, gray-brown, base of trunk 10 cm diameter, female, imma-
ture fruit, on slope just above south side of stream lowermost of 2 trees, 30 dec 2013, Wood,
Kirkpatrick & Perlman 15780 (PtBg); loc. cit., 823 m elev, tree, 3 m tall, moderately branched,
gray-brown, base of trunk 8 cm diameter, cf male, on slope just above south side of stream upper-
most of 2 trees, female immediately below, 30 dec 2013, Wood, Kirkpatrick & Perlman 15781
For continued support we acknowledge the dedicated staff of the National tropical
Botanical garden, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, the Hawai‘i State department of Land and Natural Resources, the Plant
extinction Prevention Program of Hawai‘i, the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, and
Airborne Aviation. Funding for this research was partially granted through the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service. We thank Arryl Kaneshiro and grove Farm Company, inc., and its
subsidiaries, for right of entry to their properties. Special gratitude to Steve Perlman,
Wendy Kishida, and Michelle Clark for field assistance, and Nicolai Barca for his obser-
vations of Bidens hillebrandiana subsp. polycephala.
HBS Records for 2013
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. & Fukami
. 2012. Area and the rapid radi-
ation of Hawaiian Bidens (Asteraceae). Journal of Biogeography. 39: 1206–1216.
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. 1997. Botanical survey of the Wahiawa drainage, Kaua‘i.
Final report prepared for and available from State of Hawai‘i, department of Land
and Natural Resources, division of Forestry and Wildlife.
———., Flynn, T. & Wagner, W.L. 1995. Contributions to the flora of Hawai‘i. iii.
New additions, range extensions, and rediscoveries of flowering plants. Bishop
Museum Occasional Papers 41: 19–58.
Marr K.L. & Bohm, B.A. 1997. A taxonomic revision of the endemic Hawaiian
Lysimachia (Primulaceae) including three new species. Pacific Science 51: 254–287.
Wagner, W.L., Herbst, D.R. & Sohmer, S.H. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of
Hawai‘i. 2 vols. University of Hawai‘i Press & Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.
. 2000. Biogeographical research and conservation. three Melicope
Melicope degeneri, M. knudsenii, & M. quadrangularis
. USFWS grant No.
1448–12200–99–M090. Final report prepared for and available from the US Fish and
Wildlife Service. 41 pp.
———. 2009. Further notes on Melicope quadrangularis (Rutaceae) Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i.
Biological report prepared for and available from the National tropical Botanical
garden (NtBg), Kalaheo, Hawai‘i. 6 pp.
———. 2011. Rediscovery, conservation status and taxonomic assessment of Melicope
degeneri (Rutaceae), Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i. Endangered Species Research 14: 61–68.
———. 2012. Possible extinctions, rediscoveries and new plant records within the
Hawaiian islands. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 113: 91–102.
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