Allophylus (Allophylus rhomboidalis)

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderSapindales
FamilySapindaceae
GenusAllophylus (1)

Allophylus rhomboidalis is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

Allophylus rhomboidalis is a small tree native to Henderson Island and French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean (2). It is a member of the Sapindaceae family of flowering plants, which comprises around 141 genera and 1,900 species worldwide. These plants usually have pinnate leaves and small, unisexual flowers that are arranged into inflorescences (3).

Allophylus rhomboidalis is native to Henderson Island and French Polynesia, where it occurs on the Society Islands and the Tubai Islands (1).

On Henderson Island, Allophylus rhomboidalis is found in the island’s interior in forests of Pisonia (1).

Very little is known about the specific biology of Allophylus rhomboidalis. However, plants in the family Sapindaceae are most often pollinated by birds or insects, and produce a fruit that is either fleshy or dry (3).

Occupying small, remote islands, Allophylus rhomboidalis is extremely vulnerable to any detrimental activities within its restricted range. Like many other floral species on these isolated islands, Allophylus rhomboidalis is highly vulnerable to competition for natural resources with introduced exotic species. On Tubai for example, the fruit tree Psidium cattleianum is a particularly problematic non-native species. On Henderson Island, where a population of only around 100 plants exists, natural habitats are threatened by coconut planting and the unsustainable harvesting of certain tree species for timber by neighbouring Pitcairn Islanders (4) (5).

On Henderson Island, a conservation priority for many floral species is encouraging visitors to limit coconut planting. Measures must also be taken to prevent the further introduction of exotic species (4). 

Find out more about conservation on Henderson Island:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Florence, J., Waldren, S. and Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995) The flora of the Pitcairn Islands: a review. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56: 79-119.
  3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (March, 2011)
    http://www.kew.org/science/tropamerica/neotropikey/families/Sapindaceae.htm
  4. Waldren, S., Florence, J. and Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995) Rare and endemic plants of the Pitcairn Islands, south-central Pacific Ocean: a conservation appraisal. Biological Conservation, 74: 83-98.
  5. Brooke, M. de L., Hepburn, I. and Trevelyan, R. (2004) Henderson Island World Heritage Site: Management Plan 2004-2009. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Pitcairn Islands Administration/JNCC, U.K. Available at:
    http://www.ukotcf.org/pdf/henderson.pdf