Alani (Melicope haupuensis)

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Melicope haupuensis

ListedFebruary 25, 1994
FamilyRutaceae (Citrus)
DescriptionTree with oval leaves oppositely arranged and flowers growing in clusters of five to seven.
HabitatMoist talus slopes in 'ohi'a-dominated lowland mesic forests.
ThreatsInsects, limited numbers.


This alani (Melicope haupuensis ) is a tree in the citrus family that grows to a height of about 26 ft (7.9 m). The oval leaves, 2-5.1 in (5.1-13 cm) long and 1.1-2.2 in (2.8-5.6 cm) wide, are oppositely arranged. Flowers, each on a stalk 0.04-0.12 in (1-3 mm) long, grow in clusters of five to seven on stalks that are usually 0.1-2.8 in (2.5-71.1 mm) long. Only female flowers are known. The flowers are about 0.14 in (3.6 mm) long, dotted with oil glands, and covered with a dense mat of hairs. Fruits are distinct follicles (a dry fruit that splits open lengthwise), 0.35-0.43 in (8.9-10.9 mm) long, with a hairless exocarp and endocarp (outermost and innermost layers of the fruit wall). Unlike other members of this genus on Kauai, the exocarp and endocarp are hairless and the sepals are covered with dense hairs.


The two known M. haupuensis plants grow on moist talus slopes in 'ohi'a-dominated lowland mesic forests. Associated vegetation include a'ali'a and hame, which grow at elevations of 1,230-2,690 ft (375-820 m).


For 62 years M. haupuensis was known only from the type locality on the north side of Haupu Ridge on Kauai. This population is now gone. Two plants were discovered in 1989 within 1 mi (1.6 km) of each other along the banks of Koaie Stream on state-owned land in Waimea Canyon.


Habitat degradation by feral goats and competition with the invasive alien plants lantana and yellow foxtail threaten M. haupuensis. A potential threat to members of this genus is their known susceptibility to the black twig borer, a burrowing beetle ubiquitous in Hawaii at elevations below 2,500 ft (762 m). The existence of only two known trees of this species constitutes a threat of stochastic extinction and reduced reproductivity.

Conservation and Recovery

There are currently no species-specific conservation efforts being conducted for M. haupuensis.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office, Division of
Endangered Species Eastside Federal Complex
911 N.E. 11th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97232-4181
Telephone: (503) 231-6121

Pacific Remote Islands Ecological Services Field
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 3-122
P.O. Box 50088
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850
Telephone: (808) 541-1201
Fax: (808) 541-1216


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 25 February 1994. "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered or Threatened Status for 24 Plants from the Island of Kauai, HI." Federal Register 59 (38): 9304-9329.