Isodendrion pyrifolium

Common Names:
aupaka, wahine nono kula
A. Gray
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 Isodendrion pyrifolium is fully sponsored.


Isodendrion pyrifolium, or Wahine nono kula, was presumed extinct for over 100 years, until 1991, when four plants were found on State-owned land on the island of Hawaii. This land was being developed for residential housing and a golf course. Further searches of the site added an additional 50 to 60 plants to the known population, but due to pressure from residential and recreational development, as well as invasive species, there are now only 15 plants at this site. (USFWS 1994, 2001)

I. pyrifolium, a member of the violet family (Violaceae) is a small, branched shrub (0.8 to 2 meters tall) with pubescent branches. The leaves are papery in texture and elliptic in shape, much like the leaves of the unrelated pear tree. Fragrant flowers are bilaterally symmetrical with five green-yellow petals that are somewhat unequally (10 to 15 millimeters long) long and lobed. The upper being the shortest and the lower being the longest. The fruit is a three-lobed capsule, 12 millimeters long with seeds that are olive with a dark spot near the middle.

During drought periods, I. pyrifolium will drop all but its newest leaves. After sufficient rains, the plants produce sweet-scented flowers, with seeds ripening one to two months later.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research