Flueggea neowawraea, also known as Mehamehame, is the only native species in the genus present in the Hawaiian Islands. It is assessed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Less than 50 individuals remain in the wild and there are no signs of recruitment.
It is a hardwood tree used by Hawaiians to make weapons. It has buttressing roots and can reach thirty meters high and two meters wide. It is most often dioecious (bearing either male or female flowers) requiring cross-pollination in order to produce viable seed.
The Conservation Program of the National Tropical Botanical Garden is dedicated to the conservation of Hawaiian and Pacific tropical plant diversity, particularly threatened species and important plant areas, we thank them for their commitment to preserve Mehamehame!
The conservation experts at CPC participating institutions such as the National Tropical Botanical Garden share their in-depth conservation expertise about rare plants through CPC’s National Collection Plant Profiles.
Mēhamehame photo credit: David Eickhoff