Mussaenda sp. ‘Nuku Hiva’

Marquesan Mussaenda (Mussaenda sp.)

This form is known from subfossil seeds that were recovered from an archeological site in the Ho’oumi Valley on the island of Nuku Hiva, Marquesas.

The next relative is most likely the Raiatean Mussaenda (Mussaenda raiateensis J. W. Moore) (see photo below), which is still found in other parts of Polynesia, including the Society Islands; the seeds of the Marquesan form, however, differ from the living one and thus represent a distinct, now extinct form that most likely was endemic to the archipelago. [1]


Photo:  Peter de Lange
(public domain)



[1] Melinda S. Allen; Tara Lewis; Nick Porch: Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. PLoS ONE 17(3): e0265224. pone.0265224


edited: 26.01.2024