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It was discovered in 1991 and described as a new species in 1995. Only four individuals were found at that time; three of those were crushed by a boulder and died between 1995 and 1998, and the last was found dead in 2011. Pollen was found to be inviable, no fruit set was ever observed and all attempts at propagation, including by cross-pollination with H. distans, failed.
H. woodii inhabited basalt scree and cliff walls in ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) dominated mixed mesic forests at an elevation of 915 m (3,002 ft). Associated plants include koʻokoʻolau (Bidens sandvicensis), ʻāhinahina (Artemisia australis), alani (Melicope pallida), naʻenaʻe (Dubautia spp.), ʻānaunau (Lepidium serra), nehe (Lipochaeta spp.), kolokolo kuahiwi (Lysimachia glutinosa), Carex meyenii, ʻakoko (Euphorbia spp.), manono (Hedyotis spp.), kuluʻī (Nototrichium spp.), Panicum lineale, kōlea (Myrsine spp.), Stenogyne campanulata, Lobelia niihauensis, and Mann's Bluegrass (Poa mannii).
- World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1998. Hibiscadelphus woodii. 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 15 April 2011.
- Wood, K.R. (2012). "Possible extinctions, rediscoveries, and new plant records within the Hawaiian Islands". Bishop Museum Occasional Papers (Bishop Museum Press) 113: 91–102. http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/pubs-online/pdf/op113p91-102.pdf.
- "Hibiscadelphus woodii". CPC National Collection Plant Profiles. Center for Plant Conservation. 2008-07-22. http://www.centerforplantconservation.org/collection/CPC_ViewProfile.asp?CPCNum=15806. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
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