Getting to know your Hawaiian Lobeliads #19: Clermontia persicifolia

Clermontia persicifolia

  • Hawaiian Name: Oha wai
  • Conservation Status: Apparently Secure
  • Distribution: O’ahu
  • Date photographed: 12/31/2011
  • Ease of viewing: Medium
  • *Identification: Form– Terrestrial or epiphytic shrubs 2-6 m tall. Leaves– elliptic to oblanceolate; 7-16 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide; petioles 2-7 cm long. Flower– hypanthium hemispherical, obconical, or oblong, 7-12 mm long, 6-8 mm wide; perianth greenish-white to white, 48-60 mm long, 5-8 mm wide, tube suberect to gently curved.
  • Phylogenetic comments: Of the different Clermontia spp. found on O’ahu, C. persicifolia is the only one restricted to the island.
  • My notes: There are several individuals along the Ka’au crater rim trail; they’re easy to see from the trail itself. Compared to the other Clermontia here, C. persicifolia has shinier, stiffer leaves. It’s not often that I’m still up on the mountains during the late afternoon. I spent some time photographing these while taking advantage of the light.
  • Links: Smithsonian Flora of the Hawaiian Islands, UH Botany, Native Hawaiian Plants- Clermontia
  • Additional Photos:

*From Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai’i

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