Getting to know your Hawaiian Lobeliads #39 Lobelia hypoleuca

Lobelia hypoleuca

  • Hawaiian name: Kuhi`aikamo`owahie, `opelu
  • Conservation status: Rare
  • Distribution: Main Hawaiian Islands
  • Date photographed: 9/22/2019
  • *Identification: : Form– Stems woody, erect, 15-30 dm long, leafy in upper 1/2. Leaves– narrowly elliptic to elliptic, 30-65 cm long, 2-10 cm wide, upper surface glabrous, lower surface densely white tomentose except midrib. Flower– calyx lobes subulate, 4-7 mm long; corolla blue, 28-32 mm long, 3-5 mm wide, pubescent, lobes spirally revolute.
  • Phylogenetic comments: 2022 updateL. hypoleuca appears to be sister to the clade that include L. oahuensis and L. grayana.
  • My notes: I’ve come across this taxa sporadically, usually near the summits of hikes. It is one of the few taxa of Hawaiian lobeliads that is found through the main Hawaiian islands.

*From Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai’i

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