CPC Plant Profile: Nehe
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Plant Profile

Nehe (Lipochaeta waimeaensis)

Full view of the plant showing its spreading habit. Photo Credit: Jill Shimatsu
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • State: HI
  • Nature Serve ID: 161416
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 07/09/1992

The one known population of Lipochaeta waimeaensis, or nehe, is rapidly declining. In 2000, less that one hundred individuals were recorded (USFWS 2000) and in 2001, less than 50 individuals were located (USFWS 2001). Little is known about the life history of L. waimeaensis. Flowering cycles, pollination vectors, seed dispersal agents, longevity, specific environmental requirements, and limiting factors are unknown. L. waimeaensis, a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) is a low growing, somewhat woody, short-lived perennial herb (USFWS 2000). This low growing herb has trailing stems 10-20 decimeters long with yellow flowers (NatureServe 2001).

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Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

This species has only been recorded from the type locality next to the rim of Waimea Canyon, Kauai, where there are an estimated 100 or more plants. The major threats to the species are competition from alien plants, and habitat degradation and erosion caused by feral goats.

  • 01/01/2010

As stated in USFWS (1994): Threats to L. waimeaensis include competition from alien plants and habitat destruction by feral goats, whose presence intensifies the existing soil erosion problem at the site. The single population, and thus the entire specie

  • 01/01/2010

Number of Populations: 1 (USFWS 2001) Number of Plants: <50 (USFWS 2001) [<100 recorded in 2000 (USFWS)]

  • 01/01/2010

USFWS considered the reintroduction (the planting of propagated individuals or seedlings into an area) of L. waimeaensis to be an acceptable method to try to achieve the species recovery although native plant reintroductions are difficult.

  • 01/01/2010

A critical habitat designation is being developed for this species (USFWS 2000). The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) currently has ex situ holdings of 878 seeds in its seed bank, 30 individuals in the nursery, and 5 individuals growing in the grounds in the botanical garden. These collections represent the single population.

  • 01/01/2010

1. Map genetic diversity in the surviving populations of L. waimeaensis 2. Test the influence of weeding and fencing on populations of L. waimeaensis. 3. Conduct pollination biology and seed dispersal studies on L. waimeaensis. 4. Assess taxonomic and nomenclatural status of this taxon. Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.

  • 01/01/2010

1. Establish secure ex situ stocks with full founder representation. 2. Develop proper horticultural protocols and pest management for L. waimeaensis. 3. Survey ex situ holdings and conduct molecular fingerprinting. Recommendations derived from M.H. Chapin and M. Maunder.


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Taxon Lipochaeta waimeaensis
Authority H.St.John
Family Asteraceae
CPC Number 2640
ITIS 38813
Common Names nehe | Waimea Canyon nehe
Associated Scientific Names Lipochaeta waimeaensis | Melanthera waimeaensis
Distribution L. waimeaensis is endemic to Kauai and is known only from the original site of discovery, along the rim of the Waimea Canyon on State and privately owned lands (USFWS 2000).
State Rank
State State Rank
Hawaii S1

L. waimeaensis is found on eroded soil on a steep slope in a shrub covered gulch in diverse lowland mesic forest between 350 and 400 meters (1,150 and 1,310 ft) elevation. Associated species to L. waimeaensis include Dodonaea viscosa (aalii) and Lipochaeta connata (nehe).

Ecological Relationships

None known.

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

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