Allophylus (Allophylus rhomboidalis)

Allophylus rhomboidalis foliage
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Allophylus fact file

Allophylus description

GenusAllophylus (1)

Allophylus rhomboidalis is a small tree native to Henderson Island and French Polynesia in the southern Pacific Ocean (2). It is a member of the Sapindaceae family of flowering plants, which comprises around 141 genera and 1,900 species worldwide. These plants usually have pinnate leaves and small, unisexual flowers that are arranged into inflorescences (3).


Allophylus biology

Very little is known about the specific biology of Allophylus rhomboidalis. However, plants in the family Sapindaceae are most often pollinated by birds or insects, and produce a fruit that is either fleshy or dry (3).


Allophylus range

Allophylus rhomboidalis is native to Henderson Island and French Polynesia, where it occurs on the Society Islands and the Tubai Islands (1).


Allophylus habitat

On Henderson Island, Allophylus rhomboidalis is found in the island’s interior in forests of Pisonia (1).


Allophylus status

Allophylus rhomboidalis is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Allophylus threats

Occupying small, remote islands, Allophylus rhomboidalis is extremely vulnerable to any detrimental activities within its restricted range. Like many other floral species on these isolated islands, Allophylus rhomboidalis is highly vulnerable to competition for natural resources with introduced exotic species. On Tubai for example, the fruit tree Psidium cattleianum is a particularly problematic non-native species. On Henderson Island, where a population of only around 100 plants exists, natural habitats are threatened by coconut planting and the unsustainable harvesting of certain tree species for timber by neighbouring Pitcairn Islanders (4) (5).


Allophylus conservation

On Henderson Island, a conservation priority for many floral species is encouraging visitors to limit coconut planting. Measures must also be taken to prevent the further introduction of exotic species (4)

ARKive is supported by OTEP, a joint programme of funding from the UK FCO and DFID which provides support to address priority environmental issues in the Overseas Territories, and Defra

Find out more

Find out more about conservation on Henderson Island:

  • Brooke, M. de L., Hepburn, I. and Trevelyan, R. (2004) Henderson Island World Heritage Site: Management Plan 2004-2009. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Pitcairn Islands Administration/JNCC, U.K. Available at:
  • Procter, D. and Fleming, L.V. (1999) Biodiversity: the UK Overseas Territories. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, UK.


This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:



Genus (Genera)
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
The reproductive shoot of a plant, which bears a group or cluster of flowers.
In plants, a compound leaf where the leaflets (individual ‘leaves’) are found on either side of the central stalk.
To transfer pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.


  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2011)
  2. Florence, J., Waldren, S. and Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995) The flora of the Pitcairn Islands: a review. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56: 79-119.
  3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (March, 2011)
  4. Waldren, S., Florence, J. and Chepstow-Lusty, A.J. (1995) Rare and endemic plants of the Pitcairn Islands, south-central Pacific Ocean: a conservation appraisal. Biological Conservation, 74: 83-98.
  5. Brooke, M. de L., Hepburn, I. and Trevelyan, R. (2004) Henderson Island World Heritage Site: Management Plan 2004-2009. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Pitcairn Islands Administration/JNCC, U.K. Available at:

Image credit

Allophylus rhomboidalis foliage  
Allophylus rhomboidalis foliage

© Ravahere Taputuarai

Ravahere Taputuarai


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