Haha (Cyanea remyi)

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Cyanea remyi

ListedOctober 10, 1996
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower)
DescriptionShrub with erect stems, with out prickles, dark purple and hairy toward the apex.
HabitatLowland wet forest.
ThreatsCompetition with the alien plant species; habitat degradation by feral pigs; browsing by goats; predation by rats; unidentified slugs that feed on the stems.


Cyanea remyi, a shrub of the bellflower family between 3.3 and 6.6 ft (1 and 2 m) in height, has generally unbranched stems 0.4-1 in (1-2.5 cm) in diameter. The stems are erect, without prickles, dark purple and hairy toward the apex, and brown and hairless below. The leaves are broadly elliptic, egg-shaped, or broadly oblong, and 6-16 in (15.2-40.6 cm) long and 3.7-7.7 in (9.4-19.6 cm) wide. The upper leaf surface is green, glossy, and hairless. The lower leaf surface is whitish green and glossy with scattered short white hairs on the midrib and veins. The leaf margins are hardened and slightly toothed. The inflorescence rises upward, contains six to 13 flowers, and is covered with short white hairs. The dark maroon sepal lobes are triangular or narrowly triangular, spreading or ascending, and 0.2 in (0.5 cm) long and 0.04-0.08 in (0.1-0.2 cm) wide. The tubular flowers, 2 in (5 cm) long, have two lips, are dark purple (shading to purplish white at the apex of the lobes on their inner surface), and are densely covered with short white hairs. The flower tube is curved, 1 in (2.5 cm) long and 0.2 in (0.5 cm) in diameter. The staminal column is slightly protruding. The maroon or dark purple fruit is a round berry, 0.4-0.5 in (1-1.3 cm) in diameter, with orange flesh and small projections on the outer surface. C. remyi is distinguished from others in the genus that grow on Kauai by its shrubby habit; relatively slender, unarmed stems; smooth or minutely toothed leaves; densely hairy flowers; the shape of the calyx lobes; length of the calyx and corolla, and length of the corolla lobe relative to the floral tube.

The French naturalist and ethnologist Ezechiel Jules Remy first collected C. remyi on Kauai or Niihau between 1851 and 1855. The specimen, labeled as an unidentified Delissea, languished in the herbarium of the Natural History Museum in Paris until Joseph Rock formally described it in 1917, naming it in honor of the collector.

In the current treatment of the family done in 1990, Lammers surmised, even with the inadequate material available for study at the time, that the species may be synonymous with C. truncata. Several recent collections by botanists from National Tropical Botanical Garden have confirmed the distinctness of C. remyi.


C. remyi is usually found in lowland wet forest at elevations of 1,180-3,060 ft (360-933 m). Associated plant species include hame, kanawao, 'ohi'a, Freycinetia arborea ('ie'ie), and Perrottetia sandwicensis (olomea).


C. remyi was originally known only from Remy's nineteenth century collection. In 1991, after more than 130 years, C. remyi was rediscovered in the Blue Hole on Kauai by botanists from National Tropical Botanical Garden. This species is now known from four widely separated locations on state and private land in northeastern and southeastern Kauai: a population of 14 plants in Waioli Valley; several hundred plants at the base of Mount Waialeale; about 140-180 plants in the Wahiawa Mountains, near Hulua; and a population of about 10-50 plants on the summit plateau of the Makaleha Mountains. This species is estimated to have a total population of approximately 500 plants.


Competition with the alien plant species fire-weed, Hilo grass, strawberry guava, thimbleberry, and Melastoma candidum; habitat degradation by feral pigs; browsing by goats; predation by rats; unidentified slugs that feed on the stems; and a risk of extinction from naturally occurring events due to the small number of remaining populations are the major threats to C. remyi.

The Makaleha Mountains and Wahiawa Mountains populations of C. remyi are threatened by feral pigs. The Makaleha Mountains population is threatened by the browsing of goats. Rat damage to the stems of species has been reported in the Makaleha Mountains, Waioli Valley, and at the base of Mount Waialeale. Indiscriminate predation by slugs on plant parts of C. remyi has been observed by field botanists. The effect of slugs on the decline of this and related species is unclear, although slugs may pose a threat by feeding on the stems and fruit, thus reducing the vigor of the plants and limiting regeneration.

Fireweed, an annual herb native from Mexico to Brazil and Argentina, threatens the Makaleha Mountains and Wahiawa Mountains populations. Melastoma candidum is a noxious weed that threatens the Makaleha Mountains population; strawberry guava is known to pose a direct threat to the Wahiawa Mountains population; the shrub thimbleberry threatens the Wahiawa Mountains and Waioli Valley populations; and the perennial Hilo grass threatens the Makaleha population.

Conservation and Recovery

The National Tropical Botanical Garden held more than 1,000 C. remyi seeds in storage in 1997.


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


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1988. "Kauai II: Addendum to the Recovery Plan for the Kauai Plant Cluster." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. 84+ pp.

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Haha (Cyanea remyi)

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