ʻIhiʻihilauākea - Marsilea villosa

Marsilea villosa (ʻihiʻihi) is an aquatic fern shaped like a four-leafed clover, and is found only in one other place in the world (also on Oʻahu). The fern lies dormant in its normally dry environment but needs standing water to reproduce, and therefore depends on an ephemeral (temporary) pool for its survival. Marsilea reproduced for the first time in a decade after the heavy winter rains of 1987/1988 formed the ephemeral pool in ʻIhiʻihilauākea Crater. Crustaceans, a tadpole shrimp and crab shrimp species, were also discovered; it is thought these crustaceans have been dormant in the soil since the ephemeral pool last formed. Non-native kiawe trees (Prosopispallida) and other invasive grasses now surround the Marsilea population.

E Mālama ʻIhiʻihilauākea Starts With You...


In the summer of 2002, UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program student intern Kahale Pali developed a draft of an ʻIhiʻihilauākea Stewardship Handbook through field visits and nurturing of the plants.

HBEP ʻIhiʻihilauakea stewardship handbook developed by Kahale Pali during his 2002 summer internship sponsored by UH Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.  Available for download:
File Size: 2143 kb
File Type: pdf
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