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is a rare species of flowering plant in the purslane family
Portulacaceae are a family of flowering plants, comprising about 20 genera with about 500 species, ranging from herbaceous plants to shrubs. The family has been recognised by most taxonomists, and is also known as the purslane family; it has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the highest diversity...
known by the common names 'ihi makole
. It is endemic to Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...
, where it is known only from the island of Hawaii
The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...
and an islet
An islet is a very small island.- Types :As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability....
off of Lanai
Lānai or Lanai is the sixth-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is also known as the Pineapple Island because of its past as an island-wide pineapple plantation. The only town is Lānai City, a small settlement....
. Ten occurrences exist for a total of over 1000 individuals. It is a federally listed endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...
of the United States.
This is a perennial herb with short, woody branches growing up to about 20 centimeters long. It produces white, pink, or bicolored flowers. The plant grows on cinders and lava
Lava refers both to molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption and the resulting rock after solidification and cooling. This molten rock is formed in the interior of some planets, including Earth, and some of their satellites. When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at...
Threats to this rare species include introduced
An introduced species — or neozoon, alien, exotic, non-indigenous, or non-native species, or simply an introduction, is a species living outside its indigenous or native distributional range, and has arrived in an ecosystem or plant community by human activity, either deliberate or accidental...
Ungulates are several groups of mammals, most of which use the tips of their toes, usually hoofed, to sustain their whole body weight while moving. They make up several orders of mammals, of which six to eight survive...
s and plants, fires, and volcanic activity.