C. angustifolia blowing in the wind

Every hike I go on, I’m always on the lookout for lobeliads on the rare chance that I actually come across one. Over the weekend, I challenged myself by searching the Pia-Niu Valley area specifically for lobeliads with nothing but my eyes and the modest experience I’ve gained recently for field identification. Let’s see if I’ve actually learned anything…

I was looking for Cyanea lanceolata, hoping dreaming for C. superba subsp. regina (Pia valley was one of the last places it was found back in the 60’s), but this was an unexpected surprise. Cyanea angustifolia is still one of the more common lobeliads. Although I guess that is relative. In all my hikes here, I’ve only seen it in 3 places: ‘Aiea Loop, Manoa Cliff, and now here in Niu Valley. This guy has the most branches I’ve seen on C. angustifolia yet.

10+ hrs hiking, 1 individual. I searched gulch bottoms and windswept ridges without much success. If anything, this shows just how much the lobeliads have declined. Here’s a clade that has radiated so spectacularly, expanded into so many different niches, reduced to needing prior knowledge or dumb luck just to find one. Was it the former or the latter that I had? The education continues…

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