Lysimachia maxima

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Lysimachia maxima
Starr 080314-3409 Lysimachia maxima.jpg

Critically Imperiled (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. maxima
Binomial name
Lysimachia maxima
(R.Knuth) H.St.John

Lysimachia maxima is a rare species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae known by the common name Pelekunu Trail yellow loosestrife.[1] It is endemic to Hawaii, where there are only two small populations remaining on the island of Molokai.[2] It is federally listed as an endangered species of the United States.

This is a shrub with sprawling branches lined with leaves growing in clusters of three. The solitary flowers are purple in color.[3] The plant grows only in the wet forests of the Pelekunu Mountains of Molokai. The most recent surveys revealed a total of twenty individuals, ten in each of the two populations.[2]

The plant is threatened by the invasion of introduced species of animals such as feral pigs and feral goats, and plants such as Koster's curse (Clidemia hirta) in its habitat.[2] The plant is vulnerable because of its small numbers; a single event could conceivably cause its extinction.[2]

Officials have released the leaf-eating insect Lius poseidon into the habitat as an agent of biological pest control against Koster's curse. It is too early to determine how successful this effort has been.[2]

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