Dianella sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Flax Lilly (Dianella sp.)

This taxon is known from macro-and microfossils that were found in core samples collected in the crater of the Rano Raraku on Rapa Nui, which can be dated to an age of about 9400 to 5400 BCE, which means, that they apparently disappeared prior to the first Polynesian settlement. [1]

The taxon may have been the widespread Polynesian Flax Lilly (Dianella adenanthera (G. Forst.) R. J. F. Hend.) (see photo below) or an endemic species.



[1] N. Canellas-Bolta; V. Rull; A. Saez; M. Prebble; O. Margalef: First records and potential palaeoecological significance of Dianella (Xanthorrhoeaceae), an extinct representative of the native flora of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Vegetation History and archaeobotany 23(3): 331-338. 2014


Photo: Peter de Lange 

(public domain)


edited: 11.12.2018