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Gardenia brighamii

Gardenia brighamii, United States Geological Survey (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Rubiaceae
Subfamilia: Ixoroideae
Tribus: Gardenieae
Genus: Gardenia
Subgenus: G. subg. Gardenia
Species: Gardenia brighamii

Gardenia brighamii H.Mann, 1867

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

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.[3]

Gardenia brighamii is a small tree, reaching a height of 5 m (16 ft).[3] The glossy, dark green leaves[4] are ovate, 2.2–10.5 cm (0.87–4.13 in) long and 1.5–5.5 cm (0.59–2.17 in) wide. The petals of the solitary, white flowers are fused at the base to form a tube 15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in) in length and have six lobes.

Habitat and range

Forest gardenia 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.[3]

The total population of G. brighamii is between 15 and 19 trees. There are only two plants in the wild on Oʻahu and one on the Big Island.[5] 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).[3]

Native Hawaiians made kua kuku (kapa anvils)[3] and pou (house posts) from the wood of nānū.[5] A yellow kapa dye was derived from the fruit pulp.[6] The white, fragrant flowers are used in lei. Today, it is grown as an ornamental plant on the islands.[5]

Bruegmann, M.M.; Caraway, V. (2003). "Gardenia brighamii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2003: e.T30927A9593228. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2003.RLTS.T30927A9593228.en. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
"Gardenia brighamii". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2011-01-10.
"Gardenia brighamii (Rubiaceae)". Meet the Plants. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
"Gardenia brighamii". CPC National Collection Plant Profile. Center for Plant Conservation. 2010-03-04. Archived from the original on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
Barboza, Rick (2006-09-08). "Rare plant's fragrance has hint of coconut". Honolulu Star-bulletin. 11 (251).
"nanu, nau". Hawaii Ethnobotany Online Database. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2011-03-25.

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