Sophora toromiro (Phil) Skottsb. (1922)




Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Edwardsia toromiro Phil. (basionym)


Conservation Status

Extinct in the wild

Last record: 1935 or 1960

IUCN RedList status: Extinct in the Wild



Easter Island (= Rapa Nui)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Skottsberg, C. (1922). The natural history of Juan Fernandez and Easter Island. Carl Skottsberg, editor. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri.


Other references:

Bahn, P and Flenley, J. 1992. Easter Island, Earth Island. Thames & Hudson, London.

Bailleul, Stéphane et al. (2023). The Contribution of the Montreal Botanical Garden to Plant Conservation. In: Pullaiah, T. and Galbraith, David A. (eds.). Botanical Gardens and Their Role in Plant Conservation: European and American Botanical Gardens, Volume 3. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

CONAF. 2011. Plan Nacional de Conservación del Toromiro. Corporación Nacional Forestal, Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui.

Dalrymple, S. E., Abeli, T., Ewen, J. G., Gilbert, T. C., Hogg, C. J., Lloyd, N. A., Moehrenschlager, A., Rodríguez, J. P. and Smith, D. (2023). Addressing Threats and Ecosystem Intactness to Enable Action for Extinct in the Wild Species. Diversity 15: 268.

Espejo J, Novoa P, Ruiz E, Baeza M (2008) Acciones de conservación en Sophora toromiro (Skottsb.) con un enfoque en Mejoramiento Genético: ¿Una nueva oportunidad de restauración en Isla de Pascua. La Serena. Chile. INIA-Millenium Seed Bank Project (Kew).

Espejo J, Rodríguez R (2013) Antecedentes históricos en la descripción y del uso de Sophora toromiro (Phil.) Skottsb. (Fabaceae) en su hábitat natural: 1770–1948. Gayana Botánica 70: 384-390.

Flenley, J. R. (1993). The palaeoecology of Rapa Nui, and its ecological disaster. In: Fischer, S.R. (Ed.), Easter Island Studies. Contributions to the History of Rapanui in Memory of William T. Mulloy. Oxford Books, Oxford, pp. 27-45.

Hawkes, J. G., Maxted, N. and Ford-Lloyd, B. V. (2000). Field Gene Banks, Botanic Gardens In Vitro, DNA and Pollen Conservation, pp. 92-107. In: The Ex Situ Conservation of Plant Genetic Resources. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Heenan, Peter B., Mitchell, Caroline M., Shepherd, Lara D. and Houliston, Gary J. (2021). Microsatellite characterisation of the extinct Sophora toromiro (Fabaceae) and confirmation of the identities of Allan Herbarium specimens and the fabled Christchurch ‘Victoria Park toromiro’. New Zealand Journal of Botany.

Humphreys, Aelys M. et al. (2019). Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1043-1047. [Abstract] [Supplementary Dataset 1]

Le Roux, Johannes J., Hui, C., Castillo, M. L., Iriondo, J. M., Keet, J.-H., Khapugin, A. A., Médail, F., Rejmánek, M., Theron, G. Yannelli, F. A. and Hirsch, H. (2019). Recent Anthropogenic Plant Extinctions Differ in Biodiversity Hotspots and Coldspots. Current Biology 29(17): 2912-2918.e2.

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

Mackinder B, Staniforth M (1997) Plate 330. Sophora toromiro. Curtis's Botanical Magazine 14:221–226.

Maunder, Mike. (1997). Conservation of the extinct Toromiro Tree, Sophora toromiro. Curtis's Botanical Magazine 14(4): 226-231. [Abstract]

Maunder M, Culham A, Alden B, Zizka G, Orliac C, et al. (2000). Conservation of the Toromiro tree: case study in the management of a plant extinct in the wild. Conservation Biology 14(5): 1341-1350. [Abstract]

Maunder M, Culham A, Bordeu A, Allainguillaume J, Wilkinson M (1999) Genetic diversity and pedigree for Sophora toromiro (Leguminosae): a tree extinct in the wild. Molecular Ecology 8(5): 725-738. [Abstract]

Pezoa, Ignacio, Villacreses, J.; Rubilar, M.; Pizarro, C.; Galleguillos, M.J.; Ejsmentewicz, T.; Fonseca, B.; Espejo, J.; Polanco, V.; Sánchez, C. (2021). Generation of Chloroplast Molecular Markers to Differentiate Sophora toromiro and Its Hybrids as a First Approach to Its Reintroduction in Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Plants 10: 342.

POWO. 2018. Plants of the World online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Püschel, Thomas A. et al. (2014). Analysing the Floral Elements of the Lost Tree of Easter Island: A Morphometric Comparison between the Remaining Ex-Situ Lines of the Endemic Extinct Species Sophora toromiro. PLoS ONE 9(12): e115548.

Ricci M, Eaton L (1997) Do all existing Sophora toromiro descend from one individual? Biodiversity and Conservation 6: 1697-1702.

Rivera Caniulao, M. and Chaparro, C. B. (2021). Sophora toromiro. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T30392A149811526. Accessed on 11 June 2022.

The Nature Conservancy. 1996. Natural Heritage Central Database. (Status and distribution data on Latin American plants, developed in collaboration with Latin American Conservation Data Centers and Missouri Botanical Garden).

Threatened Plants Committee Newsletters No.5 and/or 6

W.C.M.C. (1996). Threatened plant database of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. W.C.M.C., Cambridge, U.K.

World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (1998). Sophora toromiro. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. ( Downloaded on 31 January 2015.

Zizka, Georg. (1991). Flowering plants of Easter Island. Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Palmengarten.


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