Leaves, flowers and immature fruit
Photograph by: David Eickhoff
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Gardenia brighamii is a tree growing up to about 5 metres tall with fragrant, white flowers[
The fruits are gathered from the wild and used as a dye[
At one time this was a popular dye plant for local use, being commonly harvested all over the main islands of Hawaii. Judging from its use by the Hawaiians as a cloth dye, its habitat, associated species, and distribution in the early 1900s, it was probably a relatively common member of the lowland dry forest. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was considered common on west Moloka‘i and Maui, but already either extirpated or very rare on the other islands[
]. The total known wild population (as of 2005) is now less than 20 individuals. It is estimated that there are now less than 100 wild plants in total[
]. The plant's current habitat has been severely degraded by cattle and goats. The invasion of alien plants such as lantana and a variety of grasses has crowded out much of the dry forest and shades out any seedlings that may have evaded predation from rats[
]. The plant is classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Northcentral Pacific - Hawaii.
Dry forest. In rocky gulches, or on plateau lands with deep soils. On the island of Hawai‘i old forested lava flows[
|Conservation Status||Critically Endangered
|Other Uses Rating||
The yellow pulp from the fruits is used for dyeing cloth[
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