Environmental Issues > Wildlife Main Page > All Wildlife Documents

Wildlife on the BrinkHawaii : Hawaiian Yellow Hibiscus
Hawaiian Yellow HibiscusSpecies Gallery

Hawaiian Yellow Hibiscus
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hibiscus brackenridgei

STATUS: Endangered

HABITAT: Dry to moderately moist tropical forest

LIFE HISTORY: Tall shrub with three-pronged, maple-like leaves; grows up to 10 feet. Biannual blooming period lasts two months.

THREATS: Habitat loss due to development; overgrazing by feral animals and livestock

RANGE: Lana'i, Maui and Hawaii


This rare, indigenous, creamy-yellow hibiscus, called Ma'o hau hele by Hawaiian natives, is Hawaii's state flower. A mere 60 plants remain on three Hawaiian islands.
Like many other native plants and animals in Hawaii, Hibiscus brackenridgei runs the risk of being squeezed out by non-native species. Road construction, fires and possible predation by wild pigs and livestock also threaten the survival of this rare flower, listed as an endangered species since 1994.
Under the act, critical habitat was designated for the flower in 2002, and federal efforts are underway to save the few plants that remain.
Photos: Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park © Getty Images; Hawaiian monk seal © USFWS; Hibiscus brackenridgei © D. Herbst, USFWS; Hawaiian goose © John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS
Feature Home Print Version Alaska Northwest California Rockies/Prairie Southwest Midwest Southeast Northeast Hawaii International Hawaiian Monk Seals Hawaiian Yellow Hibiscus Hawaiian Goose

Get Updates and Alerts

See the latest issue >

Donate to NRDC
Give the Gift That Will Make a Difference: Den Defender

NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs

Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.

Donate now >

Switchboard Blogs

Songbird SOS
posted by Jennifer Sass, 12/3/15
New Report on the Destructive Impacts of Energy Development on Wildlife
posted by Amanda Jahshan, 11/24/15
No Room to Roam - New Top Ten Report Highlights the Isolation of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears
posted by Sylvia Fallon, 11/18/15

Related Stories

Return of the Black Rhinos
Namibia's black rhinos are now more valuable alive than dead.
In the Bay of Whales
Getting up close and personal with gray whales at Laguna San Ignacio.
Share | |