Trochetiopsis erythroxylon


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Trochetiopsis erythroxylon
Species Authority: (Forst.f.) Marais
Common Name(s):
English Redwood
Melhania erythroxylon (G.Forst.) Ait.
Trochetia erythroxylon (G.Forst.) Bentham

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct in the Wild ver 3.1
Year Published: 2003
Date Assessed: 2003-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Cairns-Wicks, R.
Reviewer(s): Cronk, Q. & Clubbe, C. (South Atlantic Island Plants Red List Authority)
1998 Extinct in the Wild (Oldfield et al. 1998)
1998 Extinct in the Wild
1997 Endangered (Walter and Gillett 1998)

Geographic Range [top]

Regionally extinct:
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Redwood soon became heavily exploited for its excellent timber and its bark which, like that of the Ebony, was used for tanning hides, after the settlement of the Island and had already become extremely rare by 1718.
Further losses of Redwoods were likely when flax plantations were established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the mid 20th century only one redwood survived in Peak Gut. This single tree is the source of all the Redwoods we know today.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The Redwood grew at mid elevations (500–750 m) in what historically was moist woodland within the range of both cabbage tree and moist gumwood woodlands. Formerly abundant under the Central Ridge and in Gullies on the Central Ridge.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Inbreeding depression and a depauperate gene pool are manifest in the poor growth and high mortality of cultivated specimens.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The hybrid of cultivated forms of this species and T. ebenus is extremely vigorous and may provide the only chance of survival for this part of the gene pool.
The Draft Recovery Action Plan for T. erythroxylon puts forward three recovery plan objectives, the aim of these objectives is to re-establish a viable population in nature. The objectives are:

1. to maintain all existing stock in local and international collections;
2. to maintain a programme of cross-pollinations that minimises inbreeding; and
3. to manage all planting programmes.

Bibliography [top]

Cairns-Wicks, R. Draft Recovery Action Plan for Trochetiopsis erythroxylon (Sterculiaceae)

Cronk, Q.C.B. 2000. The Endemic Flora of St. Helena. Anthony Nelson Publishers, Oswestry, UK.

IUCN. 2003. 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 November 2003.

Lucas, G.L.l. and Synge, H. (compilers). 1978. The IUCN Plant Red Data Book. IUCN, Morges, Switzerland.

Oldfield, S., Lusty, C. and MacKinven, A. (compilers). 1998. The World List of Threatened Trees. World Conservation Press, Cambridge, UK.

Percy, D.M. and Cronk, Q.C.B. 1997. Conservation in relation to mating system in Nesohedyotis arborea (Rubiaceae), a rare endemic tree from St. Helena. Biological Conservation 80(2): 135-146.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and International Institute for Environment and Development. 1993. Report on sustainable environmental development strategy and action plan for St Helena. Vol. 3. Status of the endemic flora and preliminary recovery programmes.

Seal, U.S., Maunder, M., Pearce-Kelly, P., Mace, G. and Clark, D. 1993. Conservation assessment and management plan. St. Helena Island. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Citation: Cairns-Wicks, R. 2003. Trochetiopsis erythroxylon. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 01 April 2015.
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