Cyperus trachysanthos - Hook. & Arn.
Pu`uka`a
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cyperus trachysanthos Hook. & Arn. (TSN 39990)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.129394
Element Code: PMCYP063J0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Sedge Family
Image 118173

© G. D. Carr

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Cyperaceae Cyperus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cyperus trachysanthos
Taxonomic Comments: Genus cosmopolitan, species endemic to Hawaiian islands. This name is maintained in Wagner et al.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Aug1990
Global Status Last Changed: 07Aug1990
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to the islands of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Lanai. There are 2 current occurrences of this species - 1 each on Kauai and Oahu. There are about 300 individuals in the Kauai occurrence and fewer than 20 in the Oahu occurrence. Much of this species' low elevation coastal habitat has been destroyed or greatly altered by agriculture and development. Additional threats are alien plants, introduced ungulates, and fire.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Hawaii (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (10Oct1996)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R1 - Pacific

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Oahu & Niihau; historical range included Molokai, Lanai & Kauai.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Two current populations; thirteen historical records.

Population Size Comments: Fewer than 1000 individuals.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats to Cyperus trachysanthos on the islands of Kauai and Oahu include invasive introduced plant species that compete and overtake the habitat (Ageratum conyzoides, Anagallis arvensis, Chloris virgata, Lantana camara, and Plantago lanceolata) (USFWS 2010). Also, feral goats, loss of wetlands (in some cases for flood control), and naturally occurring events such as landslides or hurricanes negatively affect this species (USFWS 2010).

Threats more specific to Oahu include fire, off-road vehicles, mowing, herbicides, and run-off from Hawaii Army National Guard activities at nearby Diamond Head, such as the cleaning of vehicles, dumping of paints or thinners, or the use of pesticides (USFWS 2010).

Climate change is also listed as a possible threat but the extent of this threat is not yet known (USFWS 2010).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Oahu & Niihau; historical range included Molokai, Lanai & Kauai.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States HI

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
HI Honolulu (15003), Kauai (15007), Maui (15009)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
20 Lanai (20040000)+*, Molokai (20050000)+*, Oahu (20060000)+, Kauai (20070000)+, Niihau (20080000)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A sedge with short rhizomes. Stems are densely tufted and 2-4.5 dm long.
Technical Description: "Perennials, rhizomes short; culms densely tufted, obtusely trigonous, 20-45 cm tall, 1.5-2.5 mm in diameter, viscous, leafy at base. Leaf blades green, glaucous, subcoriaceous, linear, longer than the culm, 2.5-3.5 mm wide, septate-nodose, channeled, margins remotely toothed, gradually narrowed to a long-acuminate apex; sheaths yellowish brown, the hyaline ventral side reddish brown. Corymbs simple, 5-9 cm long, 6-12 cm wide, rays 1-5, 4-9 cm long, each one bearing 2-6 heads of spikelets 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter; involucral bracts 3-5, surpassing the corymb; spikelets 10-30 per head, 8-20-flowered, pale yellowish brown, lanceolate-ovate, flattened, 8-12 mm long, 3-5 mm wide, rachilla winged; glumes pale yellowish brown to pale reddish brown, chartaceous, broadly ovate, 3-3.5 mm long, ca. 2 mm wide, acute the keel broad, green, glaucous, prolonged into a recurved mucro; style slender, longer than achene; stigmas 3. Achenes dark brown, obovoid to narrowly obovoid, trigonous, ca. 1.5 mm long, puncticulate, apex acute." (Wagner et al., 1990)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Perennials with short rhizomes; leaf sheaths septate-nodose; glumes with the midnerve ending in a recurved mucro; culms 20-45 cm tall. Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai. (Wagner et al., 1990)
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: The family is monoecious. Seeds of this genus are comsumed by birds and adhere with mud to the feet of birds.
Riverine Habitat(s): Pool
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree
Habitat Comments: In dry regions, often coastal, but in wet or seasonally wet situations such as in marshes, seeps, seasonally flooded wetlands, and clay soil which is wet during the winter but which dries out during the summer.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: JQL
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 02Jul1992

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Forbes, C.N. 1913. An enumeration of Niihau plants. Occas. Pap. of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum 5(3):17-27.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Koyama, T. 1990. Cyperaceae. Pp. 1381-1436 in: Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer, Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai`i. Special Publ. Bishop Mus., Honolulu 83: 1-1853.

  • Scanlan, G.M. 1942. A study of the genus Cyperus in the Hawaiian Islands. Catholic Univ. Amer., Biol. Ser. 41: 1- 62.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2010. Pu'uka'a (Cyperus trachysanthos) 5-Year Review Short Form Summary. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Office, Honolulu. Online. Available: (Accessed 2011).

  • Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Univ. Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1853 pp.

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