Cibicibi (Cynometra falcata)

Cibicibi (Cynometra falcata)

Cibicibi (Cynometra falcata) is a slender tree that can grow up to 4m in height.

Also known as:

Local Names: Cibicibi

Description

Cibicibi is a slender tree that can grow up to 4m in height. The leaves have a very short stalk, and the leaflet blades are curved, almost like a sickle in shape. The flowers are bunched up together on the slender branchlets of the plant, immediately below the leaves.

Distribution

Cibicibi is endemic to Fiji and has been recorded from Ba in Viti Levu, Labasa in Vanua Levu, Yadua Taba Island, and was recently recorded from the Lau Group of Islands (Southern Vanua Balavu, Kibobo and Namalata).

 Cynometra falcata © Gunnar Keppel

Cynometra falcata © Gunnar Keppel

 Cibicibi (Cynometra falcata) map

Cibicibi (Cynometra falcata) map

Habitat Ecology and Behaviour

There is limited ecological data available on this species but it is a component of Fiji’s Dry forest habitat. Botanical surveys have recorded that they grow on the ridge tops of small islands – both of volcanic and limestone origins. The ecology, phenology and range of distribution within Fiji are unknown. The recent records of this species in the Lau group was made in late 2007 during a Biodiversity survey of the Nothern Lau Islands by NatureFiji-MareqetiViti and the Institute of Applied Sciences (USP), government departments and several other non-governmental organizations.

Threats

The dry forests of Fiji are under threat, continuously being removed by fire, livestock and clearing for agriculture. Subsequently, as a component of the dry forest ecosystem, cibicibi is under continuous threat.

Conservation Status

Dry forests are still under threat, with the best and only protected stand on the Crested Iguana sanctuary, Yadua Taba Island. It is not known if the Cibicibi populations in Ba and Labasa are still present, as these records were taken before the 1970s.

Remarks and Cultural Significance

Dry forests are still under threat, with the best and only protected stand on the Crested Iguana sanctuary, Yadua Taba Island. It is not known if the Cibicibi populations in Ba and Labasa are still present, as these records were taken before the 1970s.

References

Smith (1985);
Olson et al. (2002);
Tuiwawa, M. (personal communication).

Front Page Photo: Gunnar Keppel