Rare Plant Species

Rare Plant Species

cover image of rare plant species

Today Hawaiʻi is often referred to as the “Endangered Species Capital of the World.” More than 100 plant taxa have already gone extinct, and over 200 are considered to have 50 or fewer individuals remaining in the wild. Officially, 366 of the Hawaiian plant taxa are listed as Endangered or Threatened by Federal and State governments, and an additional 48 species are Proposed as Endangered. While only comprising less than one percent of the Unites States land mass, Hawaiʻi contains 44 percent of the nation’s Endangered and Threatened plant species. 

The goals of conservation actions are to not only protect current populations, but to also establish further populations to reduce the risk of extinction. In addition to common statewide and island conservation actions, specific actions include surveying historic ranges for surviving populations, augmenting wild population and establishing new populations in safe harbors, monitoring for insect damage and plant diseases, developing research, and more to better manage and restore plant populations.

Below you can find species profile pages for 20 priority rare plant species. Further down on this page we also have 177 species fact sheets for rare plant taxa identified in our State Wildlife Action Plan.

Species profiles for 20 priority rare plant species

image of hawaiian vetch

Hawaiian vetch

image of stenogyne bifida

Stenogyne bifida

image of pendant kihi fern

Pendant kihi fern

image of Mezoneuron kavaiense

Mezoneuron kavaiense

image of cyanea heluensis

Cyanea heluensis

image of Hesperomannia oahuensis

Hesperomannia oahuensis

image of ma'o hau hele

Maʻo hau hele

image of ka punapuna o kanaloa

Ka palupalu o Kanaloa

image of Lysimachia iniki

Lysimachia iniki

image of nanuNanu

image of Hau kuahiwi

Hau kuahiwi

image of koki'oKokiʻo

image of ko'oloa'ula


cover image of 'ahinahina


image of kauila


image of Doryopteris takeuchiiDoryopteris takeuchii

cover image of mehamehame


cover image of ihi'ihiʻIhiʻihilauākea

image of oha wai

ʻOha wai

image of pua 'ala

Pua ʻala


Rare plant fact sheets from the State Wildlife Action Plan

The Hawaiʻi State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) includes rare plants with conservation needs. There are 177 fact sheets, which provide information on species described on our SWAP pages as genetic safety net species.