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Starr 020925-0039 Kadua affinis.jpg
Kadua affinis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Spermacoceae
Genus: Kadua
Cham. & Schltdl.
Type species
Kadua acuminata
Cham. & Schltdl.

~ 29 species, see text

Kadua is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. It comprises 29 species,[1] all restricted to Polynesia. Twenty-two of these are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Some of the species are common at high elevation. Others are single-island endemics or very rare, and a few are probably extinct. Kadua affinis is widely distributed in Hawaii and is polymorphic.[2] The type species for the genus is Kadua acuminata.[3]

Kadua was formerly included in a broadly defined and polyphyletic Hedyotis, which encompassed, in addition to Kadua, species now placed in Oldenlandia, Oldenlandiopsis, Houstonia, and other genera. Hedyotis is now circumscribed more narrowly.[4]


In the following list, Kadua haupuensis is added to the species listed by Edward E. Terrell et alii.[5]

  • Kadua acuminata Cham. & Schltdl.
  • Kadua affinis (A.Gray) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua axillaris (Wawra) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua centranthoides Hook. & Arn.
  • Kadua cookiana Cham. & Schltdl.
  • Kadua cordata Cham. & Schltdl.
  • Kadua coriacea (Sm.) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua degeneri (Fosberg) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua elatior (H.Mann) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua fluviatilis C.N.Forbes
  • Kadua flynnii (W.L.Wagner & Lorence) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua foggiana (Fosberg) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua foliosa Hillebr.
  • Kadua formosa Hillebr.
  • Kadua fosbergii W.L.Wagner & D.R.Herbst
  • Kadua grantii (Fosberg) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua haupuensis Lorence & W.L.Wagner
  • Kadua knudsenii Hillebr.
  • Kadua laxiflora H.Mann
  • Kadua littoralis Hillebr.
  • Kadua lucei (Lorence & J.Florence) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua nukuhivensis (J.Florence & Lorence) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua parvula A.Gray
  • Kadua raiateensis J.W.Moore
  • Kadua rapensis F.Br.
  • Kadua romanzoffiensis Cham. & Schltdl.
  • Kadua st-johnii (B.C.Stone & Lane) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua tahuatensis (Lorence & J.Florence) W.L.Wagner & Lorence
  • Kadua tryblium D.R.Herbst & W.L.Wagner


Kadua fluviatilis, endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, endangered, Oʻahu (Cultivated)

The genus Kadua was erected in 1829 by Adelbert von Chamisso and Diederich von Schlechtendal.[6] They named it for Kadu, a native of Ulea, one of the Marshall Islands. Kadu was a friend of von Chamisso and provided valuable assistance to the 1815–1818 expedition led by Otto von Kotzebue. The generic name Kadua fell into disuse in the 20th century, because most authors considered it to be a synonym of Hedyotis. In 1999, twenty species of Kadua were described as species of Hedyotis in a Flora of Hawaii.[7] Kadua flynnii was described in 1998,[8] and Kadua haupuensis in 2010.[9] Kadua was resurrected in 2005.[5] This taxonomic change was corroborated by molecular phylogenetic studies of the tribe Spermacoceae in 2008 and 2009.[4][10]


The following phylogenetic tree is partly based on a phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences,[10] and partly inferred from the classification followed in a 2005 paper.[5]


Kadua tryblium

Kadua affinis

Kadua fosbergii

Kadua axillaris

Kadua acuminata

Kadua fluviatilis

Kadua rapensis

Kadua coriacea

Kadua formosa

Kadua knudsenii

Kadua foggiana

Kadua centranthoides

Kadua parvula

Kadua degeneri

Kadua littoralis

Kadua laxiflora

Kadua cordata

Kadua elatior

Kadua flynnii

Kadua haupuensis


  1. ^ Kadua At: World Checklist of Rubiaceae At: Kew Gardens Website. (see External links below).
  2. ^ David J. Mabberley. 2008. Mabberley's Plant-Book third edition (2008). Cambridge University Press: UK. ISBN 978-0-521-82071-4 p. 448
  3. ^ Kadua In: Index Nominum Genericorum. In: Regnum Vegetabile (see External links below).
  4. ^ a b Groeninckx, Inge; Dessein, Steven; Ochoterena, Helga; Persson, Claes; Motley, Timothy J.; Kårehed, Jesper; Bremer, Birgitta; Huysmans, Suzy; Smets, Erik (2009). "Phylogeny of the Herbaceous Tribe Spermacoceae (Rubiaceae) Based on Plastid DNA Data". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 96: 109. doi:10.3417/2006201. 
  5. ^ a b c Terrell, Edward E.; Robinson, Harold E.; Wagner, Warren L.; Lorence, David H. (2005). "Resurrection of Genus Kadua for Hawaiian Hedyotidinae (Rubiaceae), with Emphasis on Seed and Fruit Characters and Notes on South Pacific Species". Systematic Botany. 30 (4): 818. doi:10.1600/036364405775097716. 
  6. ^ Adelbert von Chamisso and Diederich von Schlechtendal. 1829. Linnaea 4:157. (see External links below)
  7. ^ Warren L. Wagner, Derral R. Herbst, and Sy H. Sohmer. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised Edition, 1999. Bishop Museum Press: Hololulu, HI, USA.
  8. ^ Warren L. Wagner and David H. Lorence. 1998. "A New, Dioecious Species of Hedyotis (Rubiaceae) from Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, and the Taxonomy of Kauaʻi Hedyotis schlechtendahliana Resolved". Novon 8(3):311–317.
  9. ^ David H. Lorence, Warren L. Wagner, and William G. Laidlaw. 2010. "Kadua haupuensis (Rubiaceae: Spermacoceae), a new endemic species from Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Islands". Brittonia 62(2):137-144. doi:10.1007/s12228-009-9103-y
  10. ^ a b Karehed, J; Groeninckx, I; Dessein, S; Motley, T; Bremer, B (2008). "The phylogenetic utility of chloroplast and nuclear DNA markers and the phylogeny of the Rubiaceae tribe Spermacoceae". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 49 (3): 843–66. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.09.025. PMID 18950720. 

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