Mauna Kea Flora
I found the following plants among the mamane trees within a mile west
of Hale Pohaku, on Mauna Kea, in November 1998.
All were photographed with a disposable
camera so image quality isn't the greatest, but is hopefully adequate
for identification. Click on the thumbnails for larger versions.
I was struck by the unusual appearance of this bush- I had never seen
one like it before and didn't see any others nearby. It's about 10
feet tall, and the segmented branches are covered in fine hairs, not
apparent in the pictures. It has
parallel-veined leaves about 3-4 inches long.
Don Gardner and Gerry Carr of the University of Hawai`i identified it
as Dubautia arborea,
an endemic tar weed related to the silverswords,
found only on the Big Island.
Closeup of the top of the tallest branch, carrying what appear
to be seed pods. There were also the remains of much more delicate
flowers (male?) elsewhere on the plant (single, on the ends of stalks
a few inches long which branched in threes from a central stalk).
Other Unidentified Plants
A fairly common shrub around Hale Pohaku, with sliver-green spade-shaped
leaves. According to Don Gardner and Gerry Carr, it is probably
Chenopodium oahuense, another endemic found on all the
A closeup of a vine that was overrunning many mamane trees in the region
west of Hale Pohaku. Is this native, or yet another alien weed?
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