CPC Plant Profile: Native Yellow Hibiscus
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Plant Profile

Native Yellow Hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp. brackenridgei)

This is a shot of the shrub, showing leaves and yellow flowers. Photo Credit: Harold L. Lyon Arboretum
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Malvaceae
  • State: HI
  • Nature Serve ID: 160243
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/06/1993

Hibiscus brackenridgei is Hawai`i's State flower and a member of the mallow family (Malvaceae). It is a sprawling shrub to small tree with beautiful yellow flowers with a maroon spot in the center. Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp. brackenridgei is currently known only from 7 populations with a total of less than 60 plants. They are found on the islands of Hawai`i, Maui and Lana`i in lowland dry to mesic forest and shrubland. Threats such as habitat degradation and possible predation by pigs, goats, deer and cattle; competition with alien plant species; road construction; fire and random naturally occurring events have significantly reduced the number of populations and plant numbers and some cases extinction in some areas.

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Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to the islands of Molokai, Maui, Lanai, and Hawaii. The taxon is now known to be extant only on Maui, Lanai, and Hawaii. The total number of plants is estimated to be under 60. This taxon's dry lowland habitat has been severely altered or destroyed by development, agriculture, ungulates, fire, and alien plants.

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Feral and wild ungulates Alien plant species Low number of individuals Fire Invertebrates Rats Development (USFWS 1999, 2001)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Lana`i-1 population Maui-5 populations Hawai`i-2 populations Less than 60 plants total remain. (USFWS 1999, 2001)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation through seeds. (USFWS 1999)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Fenced exclosure of outplanting at Puuwaawaa/Kaupulehu area. Fenced exclosure of Kaunohua Gulch, Maui population. In April, 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Construct more exclosures to protect the other wild populations. Control competing alien plant species. Enhance wild populations and establish new populations. Protect from fire. Monitoring of existing plants. Control feral and wild ungulates. Control rats. Control invertebrates. (USFWS 1999)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Genetic studies. Physiological studies. Seed banking. Ex situ plantings in botanical gardens. Increase genetic stock through propagation. (USFWS 1999)


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Taxon Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp. brackenridgei
Authority A. Gray
Family Malvaceae
CPC Number 6328
ITIS 524142
Common Names native yellow hibiscus | Brackenridge's rosemallow
Associated Scientific Names Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp. brackenridgei
Distribution Molokai-historically known at Laau Point but now thought to be extinct. Lanai-Near Keomuku Road. West Maui-Kaunohua Gulch and the West Maui Natural Area Reserve East Maui- Near Puu o Kali and
State Rank
State State Rank
Hawaii S1

Lowland dry to mesic forest and shrubland from sea level up to 370 meters in elevation (USFWS 1999) and (Wagner et al. 1999).

Ecological Relationships

Little is known about the life history of this plant. Pollination biology, longevity, specific environmental requirements and limiting factors are unknown (USFWS 1999)

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting
Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hawaii Reintroduction 2007
Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hawaii Reintroduction 2015
Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hawaii Reintroduction 2015

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