What does the Spanish reconquering of the Iberian Peninsula have to do with theBus #65? To those of you that follow my blog, you’ll notice that I have a predilection for ending my posts on a positive, hopeful note. The challenges to reforesting Hawai’i with native plants are as grand as they are many. Whilst my hopefulness may seem like wishful thinking, I give you exhibit A. What are those large leafed plants growing vigorously on the roadcut above the Pali Hwy?
It’s Mamaki (Pipturus albidus). By the hairpin turn, below the run-a-way truck ramp there was a washout or landslide a few years back. But instead of invasive weeds coming up, a whole lot of native urticaceae have muscled their way in. That native flora once deemed “doomed to extinction” are dominating a random roadside is my battlecry. It is even more remarkable that it is on one of the busiest thoroughfares on O’ahu.
So is this the biotic version of the Battle of Covadonga? Has the tide turned? I’d like to think that happened long ago. Still, non-native plants have so thoroughly invaded the lowlands that you can go about your normal life in Honolulu and not notice a native plant. But this is the reason I can looked at the highly altered urban environment and see nothing but potential. Native plants not only winning… they are routing their enemies. So next time you are driving over the Pali Hwy, look out your window and cheer them on. Native plants of Hawai’i…take back your homeland!