Kamakahala (Labordia cyrtandrae)

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Labordia cyrtandrae

ListedOctober 10, 1996
FamilyLoganiaceae (Logania)
DescriptionShrub with fleshy, cylindrical to weakly angled stems covered with short, coarse, stiff hairs and eight to 80 flowers.
HabitatShady gulches in mesic to wet forests dominated by ohia, uluhe lau nui, and/or koa.
ThreatsHabitat degradation and destruction by feral pigs; potential impacts from military activities; competition with the alien plants


Labordia cyrtandrae, also known as Kamakahala, a member of the logania family (Loganiaceae), is a shrub 2.3-6.6 ft (0.7-2 m) in height. The fleshy, cylindrical to weakly angled stems, which flatten when dry, are covered with short, coarse, and stiff hairs. The thick leaves, 4.7-12 in (12-30.5 cm) and 1.6-5.5 in (4-14 cm) wide, are inversely egg-shaped to broadly elliptic or rarely inversely lance-shaped. Eight to 80 or more flowers are arranged on a densely hairy flowering stalk with an erect stalk 0.4 in (1 cm) long. The pale greenish-yellow or pale yellow corolla is 0.8-1.4 in (2-3.5 cm) long. The tubular portion of the flower is urn-shaped; the flower lobes are lance-shaped and 0.3-0.5 in (0.75-1.25 cm) long. The elliptic, lance-shaped fruits are two-valved capsules 1.3-1.4 in (3.3-3.5 cm) long. This species is distinguished from others in the genus by its fleshy, hairy, and cylindrical stem that flattens upon drying, the shape and length of the floral bracts, and the length of the corolla tube and lobes.

L. cyrtandrae was first collected by French naturalist and ethnologist Ezechiel Jules Remy on Oahu in 1855. In 1880, H.E. Baillon named Remy's collection Geniostoma cyrtandrae in reference to the resemblance of this plant to the pantropical genus Cyrtandra. The species was transferred to the endemic Hawaiian genus Labordia. The authors of the current treatment of Hawaiian members of the family concur with this designation. O. Degener described L. hypoleuca in 1932, which current taxonomists consider to be synonymous with L. cyrtandrae.


L. cyrtandrae typically grows in shady gulches in mesic to wet forests dominated by ohia, uluhe lau nui, and/or koa between the elevations of 2400-2560 ft (731.5-780.3 m). Associated plant taxa include 'ala'a, Diplazium sandwichianum, Pipturus albidus (mamaki), Perrottetia sp. (olomea), and kopiko.


L. cyrtandrae, known historically from both the Waianae and Koolau Mountains of Oahu, occurred from Kawailoa Trail to Waialae Iki along almost the entire length of the latter mountain range. The five extant populations totaled 13 individuals in 1997. This species is now known in the Waianae Mountains from two populations and six individuals at Haleauau Gulch, one population of four individuals at Mt. Kaala, and one population of one individual located in the gulch between Mokiahea and Haleauau gulches. These four populations occur on Federal land in Schofield Barracks Military Reservation. One additional population containing two individuals was discovered in 1997 on the ridge between Kaalaea and Waihee near the Kahana summit in the Koolau Mountains.


The primary threats to L. cyrtandrae are habitat degradation and destruction by feral pigs; potential impacts from military activities; competition with the alien plants Christmas berry, Koster's curse, prickly Florida blackberry, and strawberry guava; potential fire; and risk of extinction from naturally occurring events or through reduced reproductive vigor due to the small number of remaining individuals and populations.

The noxious shrub Koster's curse and the noxious weed prickly Florida blackberry threaten L. cyrtandrae. This species is also threatened by dense stands of strawberry guava, as well as by Christ-masberry, a plant that grows in smothering thickets. Populations of L. cyrtandrae that occur on land leased and owned by the U. S. Army face the threat of being damaged through military activity, either by troops in training maneuvers or by the construction, maintenance, and utilization of helicopter landing and drop-off sites.

Unintentionally ignited fires from ordnance training practices on military reservations pose a potential threat to all known populations of L. cyrtandrae.

Conservation and Recovery

The U. S. Army has constructed a small fence around one individual of L. cyrtandrae in Schofield Barracks West Range. This fence protects the individual from both pigs and falling rocks. The Army has also hand pollinated individuals of this species occurring on Schofield Barracks Military Reservation.

The Lyon Arboretum's efforts at propagating L. cyrtandrae have been unsuccessful.


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. 1998. "Recovery Plan for Oahu Plants." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. 207 pp., plus appendices.