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Remya Montgomeryi

Remya montgomeryi

No Common Name

Status Endangered
Listed January 14, 1991
Family Compositae (Asteraceae)
Description Sprawling shrub with leaves bunched at stem ends and clusters of small, yellow flowers.
Habitat Wet, steep cliffs.
Threats Domestic and feral animals, alien plant species, low numbers.
Range Hawaii


The small perennial shrubs of the Remya genus are about 3 ft (0.9 m) tall and have many slender, sprawling or scandent to weakly erect branches. The branches are glabrous in Remya montgomeryi, but covered with a fine tan fuzz near their tips in the other two species. The leaves are narrow, up to about 6 in (15 cm) long, and are bunched at the ends of the branches. The leaves are coarsely toothed along the edges, and are green on the upper surfaces. The lower leaf surfaces are green in R. montgomeryi, while in the other two species they are covered with a dense mat of fine white hairs. The small flowers are about 0.3 in (0.8 cm) in diameter, dark yellow, and densely clustered at the ends of their stems.

Seedlings of this species have not been observed. Flowers have been observed in April, May, June, and August and are probably insect-pollinated. Seeds are probably wind or water dispersed. R. montgomeryi may be self-incompatible. R. montgomeryi was discovered in 1985 by Steven Montgomery on the sheer, virtually inaccessible cliffs below the upper rim of Kalalau Valley, on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It was described as a new species in 1987.


R. montgomeryi grows chiefly on steep, north-or northeast-facing slopes at elevations of 2,800-4,100 ft (850-1,250 m). One population of R. montgomeryi grows on the steep cliffs below the rim of Kalalau Valley; despite being located at the edge of a mesic forest it receives considerably more moisture than does the other population.


Because of the sprawling habit of the members of this genus and the often dense growth of the surrounding vegetation, it is difficult to determine the exact number of individuals in a population. R. montgomeryi is known from two populations on Kauai. A population on the rim of Kalalau Valley consisted of approximately 50-70 plants in 1994, and a population at upper Koaie Canyon had five plants at that time.


The primary threats to R. montgomeryi are predation and habitat degradation by feral goats, pigs, and deer and competition from alien plant species. Other threats include erosion, fire, and stochastic extinction by virtue of the extremely small size of the populations coupled with a limited distribution. The limited gene pool may depress reproductive vigor, or a single environmental disturbance could destroy a significant percentage of the known individuals.

Conservation and Recovery

The National Tropical Botanical Garden presently has seeds in storage, but has been unable to successfully propagate R. montgomeryi. The Kauai District of the State of Hawaii's Division of Forestry and Wildlife has fenced a plant sanctuary project in the Kalalau Rim area.


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

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pacific Remote Islands Ecological Services Field
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 3-122
P.O. Box 50088
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850-5000
Telephone: (808) 541-1201
Fax: (808) 541-1216


Cuddihy, L. W., and C. P. Stone. 1990. Alteration of Native Hawaiian Vegetation: Effects of Humans, Their Activities, and Introductions. Cooperative National Park Resources Study Unit, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Herbst, D. R. 1988. "Status Survey of the Genus Remya. " U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Honolulu.

Wagner, W. L., and D. R. Herbst. 1987. "A New Species of Remya (Asteraceae: Astereae) on Kaua'i and a Review of the Genus." Systematic Botany 12 (4): 601-608.

Wagner, W. L., D. R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i. University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu.

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