Getting to know your Hawaiian Lobeliads #14: Cyanea superba

Cyanea superba


  • Hawaiian Name: Haha
  • Distribution: O’ahu (Northern Wai’anae Mountains)
  • Date photographed: 2/5/2011
  • Ease of viewing: Moderate
  • *Identification: Form– Palm-like trees 4-6 m tall. Leaves– oblanceolate, blades 50-100 cm long, 10-20 cm wide; margins callose-crenulate; petioles 5-8 cm long. Flower– hypanthium obconical, 10-16 mm long, densely pubescent; calyx lobes narrowly oblong, 6-16 mm long; corolla whitish or cream with purple veins, 55-80 mm long, 7-11 mm wide, densely pubescent, tube curved.
  • Phylogenetic comments: Cyanea superba is split into 2 subspecies: subspecies superba found in the northern Wai’anaes and subspecies regina found on the opposite end in the southern Ko’olaus.
  • My Notes: The Wai’anae population is still extant; there is a nice exclosure next to the Mokule’ia trail with several mature specimens. The Ko’olau population, however, might be extinct. The last individual was known from Pia Valley and last seen in the 1960’s.
  • Links: Cyanea superba SGCN (pdf), Smithsonian- Flora of the Hawaiian Islands, UH Botany, Native Hawaiian Plants- Cyanea, US Fish and Wildlife Cyanea superba 5-year review (pdf)
  • Additional Pics:





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