Koki'o Ke'oke'o (Hibiscus arnottianus ssp. immaculatus)

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Koki'o Ke'oke'o

Hibiscus arnottianus ssp. immaculatus

ListedOctober 8, 1992
FamilyMalvaceae (Mallow)
DescriptionPure white flowering tree.
HabitatSteep sea cliffs in mesic forests.
ThreatsHabitat degradation; predation by feral or domestic animals.


Hibiscus anottianus ssp. immaculatus (also known as koki'o ke'oke'o) is a pure white tree that reaches heights of up to 10 ft (3 m). It has alternate, oval, toothed leaves of 2-2.8 in (5.1-7.1 cm) in length. Six lance-shaped bracts are found under each of the faintly fragrant flowers, which are arranged singly near the ends of the branches. The calyx is 1-1.2 in (2.5-3 cm) long and cleft into five teeth with long, narrow points. The flaring petals are white. Anthers on the spreading filament tips are 0.4-0.8 in (1-1.3 cm) long and are arranged singly near the ends of the branches. The capsules are enclosed by the sepals and contain long seeds, which are covered with yellowish-brown cilia. Its white petals and white staminal columns distinguish it from other members of the genus.


Koki'o ke'oke'o typically grows along steep sea cliffs in mesic forests at elevations of 50-1,600 ft (15.2-487.7 m) on the northern coast of East Molokai.


Koki'o ke'oke'o once ranged from Waihanau Valley east to Papalaua Valley on East Molokai. The species is now confined to three populations along a 3-mi (4.8-km) stretch of the northern coast of East Molokai on private and state lands. These three populationsnumbering no more than 100 individualsare scattered along steep cliffs.


The major threats to this species are habitat destruction by feral goats and the small number of remaining populations.

Conservation and Recovery

This species has been propagated by the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.


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

Pacific Remote Islands Ecological Services Field Office
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. 8 October 1992. "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered or Threatened Status for 16 Plants from the Island of Molokai, Hawaii." Federal Register 57 (196): 46325-46340.