Today’s short post is all about duality. The number two can up for a few plants we saw on today’s hike. Well duality and one pretty native vine.
On O’ahu, there are 2 endemic species of Lama, Diospyros sandwicensis and D. hillebrandii. D. sandwicensis can be found from dry to wet environments, while D. hillebrandii is mainly found in mesic forest. Where their ranges do overlap, the easiest way to tell the difference is by the leaves. Here’s D. sandwicensis:
And here’s D. hillebrandii:
The venation is much more prominent on Diospyros hillebrandii. There are other differences with leaf size and shape, but this is probably the best way to make a positive id.
Another plant we saw today is one that is very rare in the Ko’olaus: Scaevola gaudichaudii. The name is very easily confused with another naupaka, the similarly named Scaevola gaudichaudiana. From what I can tell the suffix -ii is the personal possessive in latin. The suffix -iana denotes “in honor of”. Either way both plants are named after Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupre, the French botanist who made some of the earliest scientific surveys of the plants in Hawai’i. Here’s the picture:
Scaevola gaudichaudii is a very different plant from S. gaudichaudiana, having these mustard colored flowers, as opposed to the white flowers of S. gaudichaudiana.
The final plant from today’s hike is also another plant that is rare in the Ko’olaus. Awikiwiki (Canavalia galeata) is a native vine in the pea family. The patch that we came across were in flower as well.
Quite the showy infloresence. The flowers are still very popular in lei-making. Don’t ask me to try though; I’d rather see them set seedpods. Plus my lei-making skills are terrible.
Another hike completed, another encounter with uncommon native plants. Whether it’s 2 closely related plants separated by subtle variations, or plants with similar sounding names, or a pretty vine, it is always great to come across these jewels of biodiversity.