Scaevola (plant)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Starr 020925-0070 Scaevola chamissoniana.jpg
Scaevola chamissoniana
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Goodeniaceae
Genus: Scaevola

About 130, see list of Scaevola species


Lobelia Mill.
Nigromnia Carolin

Scaevola is a genus of flowering plants in the Goodenia family, Goodeniaceae. It consists of more than 130 tropical species, with the center of diversity being Australia and Polynesia. There are around 80 species in Australia, occurring throughout the continent. Diversity is highest in the South West, where ca. 40 species are endemic.

Common names for Scaevola species include scaevolas, fan-flowers, half-flowers, and naupaka, the plants' Hawaiian name. The flowers are shaped as if they have been cut in half. Consequently, the generic name means "left-handed" in Latin. Many legends have been told to explain the formation of the naupaka's unique half flowers. In one version a woman tears the flower in half after a quarrel with her lover. The gods, angered, turn all naupaka flowers into half flowers and the two lovers remained separated while the man is destined to search in vain for another whole flower.[2]

Scaevola is the only Goodeniaceae genus that is widespread outside of Australia. In at least six separate dispersals, about 40 species have spread throughout the Pacific Basin, with a few reaching the tropical coasts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

The Hawaiian Islands are home to ten Scaevola species, nine of which are endemic.[3] Eight of the indigenous species are the result of a single colonization event. Scaevola glabra and Scaevola taccada arrived separately to produce a total of three colonizations of Hawaii by Scaevola. Some of the endemic species are of hybrid origin.[4]

Beach naupaka (Scaevola taccada synonym S. sericea) occurs throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans and is considered an invasive species in Florida, USA, and in some islands of the Caribbean including the Cayman Islands[5] and the Bahamas. Beachberry or Inkberry (Scaevola plumieri) is widespread along the Atlantic coast of the tropical Americas and Africa; however, it is becoming rarer in areas where S. taccada is displacing native coastal plants.

Most Australian Scaevola have dry fruits and sprawling, herbaceous to shrubby habits. By contrast, nearly all species outside Australia have shrub habits with fleshy fruit making dispersal by frugivores easy.

The plant pathogenic sac fungus Mycosphaerella scaevolae was discovered on a Scaevola fan-flower.


"Scaevola" is Latin for little hand.[6]

Selected species[edit]

Flowers of Scaevola taccada (Beach Naupaka)


  1. ^ "Genus: Scaevola L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  2. ^ Hammer, Roger (Spring 1998). "Postcards from Paradise: Separated Lovers and the Beach Naupaka" (PDF). Wildland Weeds: 7–8.
  3. ^ "Selected Plants Found on Hawaii's Offshore Islets". Offshore Islet Restoration Committee. Archived from the original on 2009-03-01.
  4. ^ Howarth, Dianella G.; David A. Baum (2005). "Genealogical evidence of homoploid hybrid speciation in an adaptive radiation of Scaevola (Goodeniaceae) in the Hawaiian Islands". Evolution. 59 (5): 948–961. doi:10.1111/j.0014-3820.2005.tb01034.x. PMID 16136795.
  5. ^ DaCosta-Cottam, M.; Olynik, J.; Blumenthal, J.; Godbeer, K.D.; Gibb, J.; Bothwell, J.; Burton, F.J.; Bradley, P.E.; Band, A.; Austin, T.; Bush, P.; Johnson, B.J.; Hurlston, L.; Bishop, L.; McCoy, C.; Parsons, G.; Kirkconnell, J.; Halford, S.; Ebanks-Petrie, G. (2009). "Cayman Islands National Biodiversity Action Plan 2009" (PDF). Cayman Islands Government. Department of Environment.
  6. ^ "Scaevola". ABRS Flora of Australia. Data derived from Flora of Australia Volume 35. 1992. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  7. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "Naupaka kuahiwi, mountain naupaka" (PDF). Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (Native and Introduced). United States Forest Service.
  8. ^ Scott, Susan. 1991. Plants and Animals of Hawaii. Bess Press.


  • Howarth, Dianella G.; Gustafsson, Mats H.G.; Baum, David A. & Motley, Timothy J. (2003): Phylogenetics of the genus Scaevola (Goodeniaceae): implication for dispersal patterns across the Pacific Basin and colonization of the Hawaiian Islands. Am. J. Bot. 90(6): 915-213. PDF fulltext Supplemental data

External links[edit]

Media related to Scaevola at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Scaevola at Wikispecies