Schiedea kaalae

leaf Main Plant Information





Common Names

  • Oʻahu schiedea

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

Federally Listed

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Herbaceous, Short, Less than 1

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container

Additional Landscape Use Information

Attractive small plants and great for native flower beds. They are, however, candy for snails and slugs and will require protection if planted in the ground. They do very well in pots with good drainage and ample moisture. After flowering, maʻoliʻoli will drop seeds everywhere and can come up in neighboring pots by the dozens. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi] S. kaalae is one of the most vigorous of the Schiedea to grow under greenhouse conditions. [4]

The tiny seeds can be harvested and refrigerated in paper enevelopes for several years. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

The two separate races grow in two different habitats. The Waʻianae Range plants are found in mesic conditions; the Koʻolau Range plants grow in mesic to wet areas. [4]

They will hybridize with other Schiedea species as indicated by a number experimental hybrids made under controlled conditions. [1]

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • Purple

Blooming Period

  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

The blooming period is based on field and green house plants. [3,4]

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine
  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

The thick leaves vary in form from short spathulate (spatula or spoon-shaped) to oblong or elliptical.

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

The green leaves have flush of rose to purple at the bases.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

In the natural of this schiedea, habitat degredation by goats and pigs are serious threats. In the landscape, slugs and snails will pose some of the greatest problems. Spider mites can be another problem but watering the leaves thoroughly seem to discourage them. Mealy bugs will hide in stem and leaf crevices but can be carefully washed out. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Growth Requirements

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Additional Water Information

Appreciates moist conditions.

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Partial sun
  • Shade


  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Oʻahu

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 1000 to 1999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 2000 to 2999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 2000 to 2999, Greater than 100 (Wet)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Oʻahu schiedea is found in diverse mesic forests to perhaps wet forests on steep slopes from about 1345 to 2395 feet. As with most schiedea, this species naturally grows on north-facing locations in their habitat. [1] This very rare schiedea is an Oʻahu endemic once ranged throughout the Waiʻanae and northern Koʻolau mountains. But now reduced to perhaps fewer than 100 individuals with one remaining population in the Koʻolau Range (Punaluʻu)* and a few populations in the Waiʻanae Range (Palawai, Makaleha, Pahole Gulch, Mokulēʻia, Puʻuhāpapa, and Huliwai).

* Recent surveys of the range from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (March 2005) report that the population of two plants at Kaipapaʻu, Koʻolau Range were destroyed by a landslide. [2]

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Schiedea belong to the Pink family (Caryophyllaceae). Notable members include catchflies, pinks and carnations.

Schiedea is an endemic genus of 34 species--all of which are considered vulnerable, rare, or endangered, with a few extinct.

Once there were two recognized varieties of Schiedea kaalae based on leaf shapes, but have now been merged together as a single species. [1]


The generic name Schiedea is named in honor of Christian J. Schiede (1798-1836), German-born physician who collected in Mexico.

The specific epithet kaalae refers to Kaʻala, Oʻahu, the highest point on the island, where this species was first described by Western man in 1870.

Additional References

[1] "Monograph of Schiedea (Caryophyllaceae-Alsinoideae)" by Warren L. Wagner, pages 22-25, 32, 85, 147-150.

[2] [Accessed on 12/22/09]

[3] Dept. of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, Federal Register Vol. 68, No. 116 (June 17, 2003), page 35966.

[4] "Implementation Plan for Mākua Military Reservation, Island of Oahu 16.25 Taxon Summary: Schiedea kaalae," pages 16-150, 16-151.



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