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Plant Profile

Thomas' Lidflower (Calyptranthes thomasiana)

Although a this photo shows a small tree growing in cultivation, individuals in this species can grow up to 10 meters in height. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • State: PR, VI
  • Nature Serve ID: 148972
  • Lifeform: Tree, Shrub
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/1991

Calyptranthes thomasiana is a small evergreen shrubby-tree that may reach up to ten meters in height (Vivali and Woodbury 1981, USFWS 1997). The species is currently known from three locations: the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, St. John, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (Center for Plant Conservation 1992). Habitat loss, coupled with inherent rarity, are the primary threats to Calyptranthes thomasiana. In February of 1994, the species was determined to be endangered (USFWS 1994).

Where is Thomas' Lidflower (Calyptranthes thomasiana) located in the wild?


Calyptranthes thomasiana grows in the moist montane forest types of Vieques Island and ST. John , U.S. Virgin Islands. The long, narrow island of Vieques is 7 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. Calyptranthes thomasiana can be found at the islands highest elevation, 300 meters, in the moist deciduous inner hills and slopes (USFWS 1997). Up to one half of the species located in this region are deciduous and include epiphytic orchids, vines and bromeliads (USFWS 1997). The soils of St. John are volcanic in origin; the dominant soil is type is a clay loam (Woodbury and Weaver 1987). Here, Calyptranthes thomasiana is also found at the highest elevation, about 380 meters, in the upland moist forest type (Ewel and Whitmore 1973, USFWS 1997). Unlike the site at Vieques Island, epiphytes and vines are rarer. Species that are associated with Calyptranthes thomasiana on Vieques Island are the common Coccothrynax argentea. Other native species include Trichilia hirta, Citharexlum fruticosum, Eugenia fragans, Eugenia sessiliflora, Palicourea domingensis, Licaria triandra, Nectandra coriacea, Maytenus elliptica, Maytenus cymosa and Miconia laevigata (USFWS 1997). In St. John, Calyptranthes thomasiana shares the lower strata of the forest with Ilex urbanii, Myrcia citrifolia, Guettarda scarba, Clusia rosea, Psidium amplexicaule, and Acacia muricata (USFWS 1997).


Calyptranthes thomasiana was first described in 1855 from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It is currently known from three sites, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands and Virgin

States & Provinces:

Thomas' Lidflower can be found in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

Which CPC Partners conserve Thomas' Lidflower (Calyptranthes thomasiana)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Found on the islands of St. John (Bordeaux Mountain), St. Thomas, Virgin Gorda, and Vieques, off the eastern shore of Puerto Rico. Occurs locally on mountains at 300-800 ft (91-244 m) alt.

  • 01/01/2010

Habitat loss in tandem with inherent rarity and limited distribution are the primary threats to Calyptranthes thomasiana's survival. On Vieques Island, Calyptranthes thomasiana is found in a conservation zone owned by the U.S. Navy. But change in this are

  • 01/01/2010

Less than 250 individuals are known from three sites (USFWS 1997).

  • 01/01/2010

Plants have been cultivated at Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, Florida (Center for Plant Conservation 1992).

  • 01/01/2010

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1997) management objective is to protect known populations, establish and develop a management plan.

  • 01/01/2010

The primary management goal set forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1997) is to develop a management plan for species protection in cooperation with the U.S. Navy and Park Service. A subset of this goal is to monitor existing populations and to establish new ones. Vital ingredients for management include understanding general life history traits, such as habitat, germination and seedling requirements as well as general reproductive biology (USFWS 1997).


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Taxon Calyptranthes thomasiana
Authority Berg
Family Myrtaceae
CPC Number 698
ITIS 27184
Duration Perennial
Common Names Thomas' lidflower
Associated Scientific Names Calyptranthes thomasiana
Distribution Calyptranthes thomasiana was first described in 1855 from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. It is currently known from three sites, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands and Virgin
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1
Virgin Islands *FR83
Ecological Relationships


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