Lipochaeta connata subsp. acris

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Lipochaeta

Species

connata

Subspecies

  • acris

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Nehe

Hawaiian Names

  • Nehe

Common Names

  • Sharp-toothed lipochaeta

Synonyms

  • Lipochaeta acris
  • Lipochaeta acris var. lata
  • Lipochaeta lobata var. incisior

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Endemic

Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Herbaceous, Medium, 1-3
  • Herbaceous, Tall, Greater than 3

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Ground Cover

Additional Landscape Use Information

This easy-to-grow nehe could prove to be an excellent replacement for the incredibly over used wedelia and tolerates less watering. Wow! Native and drought tolerant--a win-win landscape plant!

Source of Fragrance

  • No Fragrance

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Showy

Flower Colors

  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

Like many nehe, the bright yellow flowers are attractive especially en masse.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic
  • Spring
  • Summer

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

This nehe is a sporadic or year round bloomer, but appears to be at its peak in the spring and summer months.

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

The two Lipochaeta connata subspecies can be separated by the leaf edges: subsp. connata has slightly toothed leaves; subsp. acris has sharply toothed leaves. [2]

Leaf Colors

  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Few pests seem to be a great threat to this nehe. But some leaf chewing insects (caterpillars), whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs, and spittle bugs can still do damage if not controlled.

If planted in moist, humid, or shady conditions plants may suffer from powerdery mildew, a fungus. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Growth Requirements

Fertilizer

Apply 13-13-13 slow release fertilize every six months. Foliar feeding in early morning with a water-soluble or an organic fertilizer (e.g. kelp or fish emulsion) at one-third to one-fourth the recommended strength every other month has proved beneficial. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Pruning Information

Can tend to get unruly in smaller areas. The plants handle aggressive trimming well. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Soil must be well drained

Yes

Light Conditions

  • Full sun

Spacing Information

Depending on the density of the covering, 3 to 5 feet apart for groundcover as proved to have good results. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Tolerances

  • Drought
  • Heat

Soils

  • Cinder
  • Organic
  • Coral

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Niʻihau
  • Kauaʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)

Habitat

  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

This species of nehe is found from 65 to over 1300 (--3800) feet scattered in remnant dry forest.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Lipochaeta is a Hawaiian endemic genus belonging to the Sunflower family (Asteraceae). The six species are fairly common in suitable habitat, with one endangered species (L. lobata subsp. leptophylla) and one extinct species (L. degeneri).

Etymology

The generic name Lipochaeta is derived from the Greek lipo, fat, and chaeta, bristles or hairs. [1]

The specific epithet connata is from the Latin connatus, fused or united (connate) in reference to the fused bases of the leaves. [1]

The Latin subspecific name acris means sharp or acrid in reference to sharp-toothed edges of this subspecies. [1]

Early Hawaiian Use

One older source (Charles Gaudichaud,1819) states that Hawaiians "used all fragrant plants, all flowers and even colored fruits" for lei making. The red or yellow were indicative of divine and cheifly rank; the purple flowers and fruit, or with fragrance, were associated with divinety. Because of their long-standing place in oral tradition, the flowers of nehe were likely used for lei making by early Hawaiians, even though there are no written sources. [3]

Additional References

[1] "The Names of Plants" by David Gledhill, pages 34, 118, 174, 239, 363.

[2] "Flora Hawaiiensis" by Otto Degener, Book 5, Family: 344.

[3] "Nā Lei Makamae--The Treasured Lei" by Marie A. McDonald & Paul R. Weissich, pages XIV-XV, 100.

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