CPC Plant Profile: Nehe
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Plant Profile

Nehe (Lipochaeta lobata var. leptophylla)

Closeup of flowers and leaves held on sprawling stems. Photo Credit: S. Perlman
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • State: HI
  • Nature Serve ID: 149317
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/01/1990

Twenty species belong to the genus Lipochaeta, all of which are endemic to Hawaii. Eight of these twenty species are federally endangered, and another five are species of concern. This particular species is considered a coastal species, and is also the only member of its genus with four parted disk florets. L. lobata has two recognized varieties, var. leptophylla (with more slender leaves spaced more closely on the stem) and var. lobata. Of the two varieties, L. l. var. leptophylla is the rarer, with only 3 populations totaling around 140 individuals on the island of Oahu. L. lobata var. leptophylla, a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) is a low, somewhat woody perennial herb that has linear to lanceolate leaves that are closely arranged along its stem. The flowers of L. lobata var. leptophylla have solitary or clustered heads (no more than 3 clusters per node) (Wagner et al. 1999). There may be fewer genetic individuals than it appears, as what looks like individual plants of L. lobata var. leptophylla are actually clones, connected through underground roots. (USFWS 1998)

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Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to the central Waianae Mountains of Oahu. This variety has been recorded from a handful of sites over a distance of 7 km. Currently, there are fewer than 200 plants known. Most of the plants are in an area where feral goats are degrading the native communities and damaging the plants themselves. Fire has swept through portions of this taxon's range in recent years. Feral pigs and alien plants are also serious threats to the taxon.

  • 01/01/2010

Threats to L. lobata var. leptophylla include invasive introduced plants such as Schinus terebinthifolius (Christmas berry), Leucaena leucocephala (koa haole), and Melinus minutiflora (molasses grass), feral goats, and fire.

  • 01/01/2010

Number of Populations: 3 (USFWS 2001) Number of Plants: >140 (USFWS 2001)

  • 01/01/2010

The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) and Lyon Arboretum are propagating Lipochaeta lobata var. leptophylla (USFWS 1998).

  • 01/01/2010

NTBG currently has ex situ holdings of 15 seeds in its seed bank, which represents one out of the three populations.

  • 01/01/2010

1. Construct enclosures to protect against feral goats. Also, removal of goats from populated areas of L. lobata var. leptophylla would reduce their impacts on the native ecosystems. 2. Control competing alien plant species within exclosures. 3. Provide protection from fire by coordinating a fire protection plan. 4. Conduct pollination biology, seed dispersal studies on L. lobata var. leptophylla. 5. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of L. lobata var. leptophylla. Recommendation derived from M.H. Chapin, M. Maunder, and USFWS (1998).

  • 01/01/2010

1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation. 2. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for L. lobata var. leptophylla. Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.


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Taxon Lipochaeta lobata var. leptophylla
Authority O. Degener & Sherff
Family Asteraceae
CPC Number 2614
ITIS 196321
Common Names nehe | shrubland nehe
Associated Scientific Names Lipochaeta lobata var. leptophylla
Distribution L. lobata var. leptophylla is distributed on Niihau, Oahu, and West Maui (Wagner et al. 1999).
State Rank
State State Rank
Hawaii S1

L. lobata var. leptophylla is found in dry, coastal habitats, and sometimes in dry shrublands from 0 to 400 (0 to 1,312 ft) meters elevation. Associated species of L. lobata var. leptophylla include Dodonaea viscosa (aalii), Peperomia sp. (alaala wai nui), and Bidens sp. (kookoolau). Associated species of L. lobata var. leptophylla include Dodonaea viscosa (aalii), Peperomia sp. (alaala wai nui), and Bidens sp. (kookoolau).

Ecological Relationships

Flowering of L. lobata var. leptophylla is probably rain-induced (USFWS 1998).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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