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Lo'ulu (Pritchardia schattaueri)

Lo'ulu

Pritchardia schattaueri

Status Endangered
Listed October 10, 1996
Family Arecaceae (Palm)
Description Large palm, 100-130 ft (31-40 m) tall with a gray trunk.
Habitat Lowland mesic forest.
Threats Grazing and trampling by cattle and feral pigs; competition from alien plant taxa; seed predation by rats; residential and commercial development; habitat change due to volcanic activity.
Range Hawaii

Description

Pritchardia schattaueri, a variety of lo'ulu and a member of the palm family (Arecaceae), is a large palm 100-130 ft (31-40 m) tall with a gray, longitudinally grooved trunk 12 in (30.5 cm) in diameter. Leaves form a spherical crown and are sometimes persistent after death. Leaves are fan-shaped, glossy green with small brown scales on the lower surface, up to 11.8 ft (3.6 m) long and 5.6 ft (1.7 m) wide. Flowers are on two-to four-branched inflorescences with a main stalk 3.9-5.7 ft (1.2-1.74 m) long and individual branches 3.2-4.6 ft (0.9-1.4 m) long. The five bracts are lance-shaped, the lowest one 2 ft (0.6 m) long, and the uppermost one 9-12 in (22.8-30.5 cm) long. The calyx is green, 0.1 in (0.25 cm) wide. Fruits are round or pear-shaped, black with brown spots when mature, 1.2-2 in (3-5 cm) long, and 1.2-1.6 in (3-4 cm) wide. This species differs from its closest relative, P. beccariana, by its slender inflorescence branches, more deeply divided leaves, and pendulous rather than stiff tips of the leaf blade segments.

Donald Hodel (1985) described P. schattaueri based on a specimen collected from plants discovered by George Schattauer in 1957.

Habitat

P. schattaueri grows in 'ohi'a-dominated lowland mesic forest, at elevations between 1,970 and 2,600 ft (600 and 793 m). Associated taxa include 'ohi'a, olopua, papala, hapu'us, kolea, and Pittosporum sp. (ho'awa).

Distribution

P. schattaueri is known from 12 individuals in three locations in South Kona on the island of Hawaii, on privately owned land. Ten individuals are known from a forest partially cleared for pasture in Hoomau. Two other individuals are found singly at the edge of a macadamia nut farm and in an area owned by a development company. Ten seedlings have been planted near the macadamia farm.

Threats

The major threats to P. schattaueri are grazing and trampling by cattle and feral pigs; competition from alien plant taxa, like strawberry guava, common guava, kikuyu grass, Christmasberry, and thimble-berry; seed predation by rats; residential and commercial development; habitat change due to volcanic activity; and a risk of extinction from naturally occurring events and/or reduced reproductive vigor due to the small number of existing populations and individuals and the lack of successful regeneration. Lethal yellowing is a disease particular to palms that represents a potential threat if the disease ever reaches Hawaii.

Conservation and Recovery

As of May 1998, the Volcano Rare Plant Facility had five plants; the National Tropical Botanical Garden one plant; the Lyon Arboretum two plants; and Waimea Falls Park six plants. About 66 seedlings were planted by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife near the macadamia farm in Honomalino in 1993. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife maintains nine exclosures that contain a total of more than 50 individuals from the 1993 outplanting. Another exclosure at the Kiolakaa Forestry Cabin near South Point contains six individuals. The program to biocontrol strawberry guava will benefit this species.

Contact

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
http://pacific.fws.gov/

Reference

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. "Big Island II: Addendum to the Recovery Plan for the Big Island Plant Cluster." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. 80 pp. plus appendices.

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