Hibiscadelphus giffardianus

Common Names:
hau Kuahiwi
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
National Tropical Botanical Garden

The conservation of Hibiscadelphus giffardianus is fully sponsored.


There are seven known species of Hibiscadelphus, which is a genus that is endemic to Hawaii. Four of those seven species are now extinct. H. giffardianus, one of the remaining 3 species, was discovered in 1911, and is known from only one tree in the wild. In 1930, this tree died, but one cutting taken from it survived. This remaining cutting died in cultivation in 1940, but not before yet another cutting was taken from it. This cutting grew to maturity, and the 9 known individuals of this species are descendants from it. (Baker & Allen 1977)

A member of the hibiscus family (Malvaceae), H. giffardianus is a tree approximately 7 meters tall that exists only in cultivation. Trunks of this tree grow up to 30 centimeters in diameter and are whitish in color. The leaves of H. giffardianus are heart-shaped, 10 to 30 centimeters long with a broad tip. Flowers are solitary with a corolla that is grayish green externally and dark magenta within and 5 to 7 centimeters long. Five to seven filamentous bracts are borne below each flower and the calyx is pouch-like. The fruit of H. giffardianus are woody with star shaped hairs. This species can be differentiated from others in this endemic Hawaiian genus by its flower color, flower size, and filamentous bracts. Most cultivated trees of H. giffardianus are located at Volcanoes National Park.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research