Hawaii’s rare Plants & Forest

Posted on November 4, 2014

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The Honouliuli Forest Reserve holds a sparse quantity of rare and endangered plants species, some not found anywhere else in the world. The work, over sight to protect and expand the rare plants and forest of Hawaii has become a vital role of a few individuals and organizations across our Island chain. In particular Susan Ching of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP) and Lara Reynolds of DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife have joined forces to not only document and catalog the sparse numbers and locations of such rarities but to try to ensure the plants population and numbers don’t further decline .

Hand Pollination of the Hesperomannia-oahuensis needs human assistance to be pollinated and to thrive in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, photo courtesy of Susan Ching

Hand Pollination of the Hesperomannia-oahuensis needs human assistance to be pollinated thrive in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, photo courtesy of Susan Ching

Link to watch our “Pathways to Paradise”  TV Shows with more information about Hawaii’s rare plants & forest: http://olelo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=24&clip_id=44198

http://olelo.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=24&clip_id=43922

The obstacles of location and the severe decline of many of the Hawaiian Species and for some plant it’s total extinction has been a disintegration. With decades of misunderstanding of the damage of non native plants used to reforest Hawaii’s landscape, surfaced an education of the problems to introduce non natives and combating invasive plants for our Hawaiian community. Many of the Plants now required and depend on our human interaction to survive.

“The Hesperomannia oahuensis- needs our human assistance to be pollinated to thrive due to few individuals left. Occurs in Honouliuli Forest Reserve,” stated Susan Ching of the Plant Extinction Protection Program http://www.pepphi.org. “And the Holio- Cryptocarya oahuensis- had only one tree left in the wild in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve. The delicious “Avocado type” of Fruit of this species were eaten by rats. But with the use of control with rat traps we were able to get a lot of fruit this year! There is also an association with a native insect which lives solely on this tree.”

The Holio- Cryptocarya oahuensis- had only one tree left in the wild in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, on Oahu, Hawaii

The Holio- Cryptocarya oahuensis, had only one tree left in the wild in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, on Oahu, Hawaii

Susan Ching said that, “Her work with the Plant Extinction Protection Program and main focus is on plant species that have fewer than 50 plants remaining globally, many are found only here in the Forest of Hawaii.”

The seeds of the Holio- Cryptocarya oahuensis,  had only one tree left in the wild in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, on Oahu, Hawaii.

The seeds of the Holio- Cryptocarya oahuensis, had only one tree left in the wild in the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, on Oahu, Hawaii.

Susan indicated that in the 1990’s one of the hāhā species had only a single plant remaining here on Oahu, no were in the world was this plant found, now the plant has strived to around 10 each in 2 decades.

Lara Reynolds, of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Oahu District Botanist shared information on her work in protecting and cataloging some of Hawaii’s rare species. And a Great website where people can learn how to “plant pono” – http://www.plantpono.org/

Lara spoke about protecting the Endangered Plants & Species of the Honouliuli Forest Reserve and all of Hawaii’s plants, cataloging the Nuku ‘I’iwi Strongylodon found on the trail of the Honouliuli Forest Reserve.

Nuku iiwi Strongylodon ruber is found in the forest area of Honouliuli on the Island of Oahu. Hawaii,  photo by  Lara Reynolds DLNR

The beauty of the Nuku iiwi Strongylodon ruber is found in the forest area of Honouliuli on the Island of Oahu. Hawaii, photo by Lara Reynolds DLNR

Both Susan and Lara described how the hāhā which is a member of the Bellflower family (Campanulaceae) has thrived and is a palm-like shrub known from the wet, windward gulches of the Northern Ko`olau Mountains on O`ahu. This species has only ever been known from a handful of individuals scattered from Waiāhole to Kaipapa`u valleys where it is often found with native riparian/stream bank vegetation including Māmaki (Pipturus albidus), Ha`iwale (Cyrtandra sp.), Koki`o ke`oke`o (Hibiscus arnottianus), and many ferns and mosses.
Also Lara talked about “the importance of how volunteering opportunities teach about the forest and educates the community on how to preserve the forest for future generations. Lara shared several links for people interested in the community projects Statewide through DLNR and the watershed partnerships links:

State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Volunteer Website:
http://dlnr.ivolunteer.com/#1

Ko’olau Mountain Watershed Partnership:
http://koolauwatershed.org/

hâhâ -cyanea-humboldtiana Photo by Lara Reynolds,  DLNR

hâhâ -cyanea-humboldtiana Photo by Lara Reynolds, DLNR

Wai’anae Mountain Watershed Partnership:
http://hawp.org/waianae/

Statewide: Watershed Partnerships
http://hawp.org/category/news/volunteer-opportunities/

hâhâ -cyanea-humboldtiana Photo by Lara Reynolds,  DLNR

hâhâ -cyanea-humboldtiana Photo by Lara Reynolds, DLNR

Watch this Wednesday Nov. 5, 2014 our latest “Pathways to Paradise TV Show” as we talk story about Hawaii’s Forest and Rare Plants, at 8:30pm on ch. 55 here in Honolulu or worldwide on the internet, Then check back later as we post the link to the TV Episode here.

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