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It inhabits dry forests on the islands of Lānaʻi, Maui, Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi. It is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List; only about 450–500 plants remain in fewer than ten naturally occurring populations throughout the islands. The rarity of this plant can be attributed to the alteration of its habitat for agricultural and urban development, overgrazing by livestock and feral animals, and competition from invasive weeds. A conservation plan is being implemented by federal and state agencies to protect remaining habitat, establish new populations, and conserve genetic material in seed banks and botanical gardens.