The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Harold L. Lyon Arboretum
The conservation of Viola lanaiensis is fully sponsored.
Nellie Sugii contributed to this Plant Profile.
Viola lanaiensis is one of seven species of violets native to the Hawaiian Islands, and is one of three species of Hawaiian violets listed as endangered by both Federal and State governments. Viola lanaiensis is restricted to the island of Lana`i, where fewer than 80 plants still survive in scattered sites on ridges and slopes of Lanaihale in dry to mesic forest. The introduction of axis deer and mouflon sheep to Lana`i have likely played a major role in the disappearance of Viola lanaiensis. Currently, the remaining wild plants are enclosed within protective fencing to prevent browsing and grazing activities.
Viola lanaiensis, as well as the other Hawaiian violets, possess woody stems, which is unique amongst the members of the Violet family. Viola lanaiensis produces small flowers that are white and purple tinged, and lance-shaped leaves which form clusters on its stem tips. (Wagner et al. 1999)
Distribution & Occurrence
Viola lanaiensis has been observed on moderate to steep slopes from lower gulches to ridgetops, 850 to 980 meters in elevation in mesic to wet forest. (Wagner et. al 1999)
Less than 80 individuals
(Recovery Plan 1995) and (USFWS 2001)
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Alien plant competition
Small gene pool
(USFWS 1995, 2001)
Propagation (Harold L. Lyon Arboretum)
(USFWS 1995) and (Nellie Sugii Pers. Comm. 2001)
Alien plant control
(USFWS 1995, 2001)
Plant biological and physiological studies
Rock, J.F. 1911. Notes upon Hawaiian plants with descriptions of new species and varieties. Coll. Hawaii Publication Bulletin. 1: 1-20.
Schulz, T.T.; Carpenter, A.T. Monitoring survival, Growth, and Reproduction of Aletes humilis. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-283. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; September 11-14; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Maschinski, J.; Hammond, H
Skottsberg, C. 1940. Observations on Hawaiian violets. Acta Horticultura Gothobotanica. 13: 451-528.
St. John, H. 1979. Resurrection of Viola lanaiensis Becker. Hawaiian plant studies 90. Phytologia. 44, 323-324
St. John, H. 1981. New species from Kauai. Hawaiian plant studies 97. Pacific Science. 35, 97-103
St. John, H. 1989. Revision of the Hawaiian species of Viola (Violaceae). Hawaiian plant studies 135. Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 111
USFWS. 1990. Proposed Endangered Status for Six Plants from the Island of Lanai, HI. Federal Register. 55, 180: 38236-38242.
USFWS. 2002. Revised Determinations of Prudency and Proposed Designations of Critical Habitat for Plant Species From the Island of Lanai, HI. Federal Register. 67, 42: 9806-9871.