Schiedea membranacea

leaf Main Plant Information





Common Names

  • Papery schiedea

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

Federally Listed

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Partially Woody / Shrub-like

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
  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

If planted in the ground, keep alert for slugs and snails.

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • Light Purple

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Medium

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Slugs and snails favor the leaves.

leaf Growth Requirements


A foliar feeding of kelp or fish emulsion every other month has excellent results. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Pruning Information

Except to remove spent leaves and fruit, none required.

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Additional Water Information

This Schiedea is drought tolerant. If it does not receive water it will die back to the ground. But under cultivation this sometimes this will happen anyway, even when ample water is provided. Do not be alarmed if plants die back to a stump and do not throw them out. You can allow them to dry out somewhat and resume watering in a month or two. New growth will soon appear. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Partial sun


  • Drought


  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 2000 to 2999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 3000 to 3999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Schiedea membranacea is found from about 1600 to just over 3800 feet in moist, rocky sites and bases of cliffs in mesic forest. This endengered species is endemic to north and west Kauaʻi. There it is found in the exterioir valleys of Mahanaloa, Kuʻia and Paʻaiki, the rim of Kalalau Valley, Nuʻalolo Valley, Wainiha, and in the Waimea Canyon area from Waiʻalae Ridge and upper Koaiʻe Canyon.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Maʻoliʻoli 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.


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

The specific epithet membrancea means membrane or parchment, referring to the leaves. [1]

Background Information

This species is one of the few deciduous perennial Schiedea. During the dry season, the herb dies back to the ground leaving a fleshy root. With the rainy season, new foliage appears followed by the flowering and fruiting period. [1]

Additional References

[1] "Monograph of Schiedea (Caryophyllaceae-Alsinoideae)" by Warren L. Wagner, pages 41-42, 44.

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