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Gardenia brighamii

Gardenia brighamii, United States Geological Survey (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Gentianales
Familia: Rubiaceae
Subfamilia: Ixoroideae
Tribus: Gardenieae
Genus: Gardenia
Species: Gardenia brighamii


Gardenia brighamii H.Mann, 1867


* IUCN link: Gardenia brighamii H.Mann (Critically Endangered)
* Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Boston, MA 7:171. 1867

Vernacular names
Svenska: Hawaiigardenia


Gardenia brighamii, commonly known as Nānū, Naʻu, or Forest Gardenia, is a species of flowering plant in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, that is endemic to Hawaii.[2]

It inhabits tropical dry forests at elevations of 350–520 m (1,150–1,710 ft). It previously could be found on all main islands, but today populations only exist on Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, and Lānaʻi, and the Big Island. G. brighamii is a small tree, reaching a height of 5 m (16 ft).[2]


The total population of G. brighamii is between 15 and 20 trees. There are only two plants in the wild on Oʻahu and one on the Big Island.[3] Major threats to the survival of this species include loss of dry forest habitat and the establishment of invasive species, such as Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum).[2]


Native Hawaiians made kua kuku (kapa anvils)[2] and pou (house posts) from the wood of nānū.[3] A yellow kapa dye was derived from the fruit pulp.[4] The white, fragrant flowers are used in lei. Today, it is grown as an ornamental plant on the islands.[3]


1. ^ Bruegmann, M.M. & Caraway, V. 2003. Gardenia brighamii. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 21 August 2007.
2. ^ a b c d "Gardenia brighamii (Rubiaceae)". Meet the Plants. National Tropical Botanical Garden. http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=5346. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
3. ^ a b c Barboza, Rick (2006-09-08). "Rare plant’s fragrance has hint of coconut". Honolulu Star-bulletin 11 (251). http://archives.starbulletin.com/2006/09/08/features/garden.html.
4. ^ "nanu, nau". Hawaii Ethnobotany Online Database. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/resultsdetailed.asp?search=nanu. Retrieved 2009-11-06.

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License