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Olulu Plant

10 posts in this topic

My husband (O'o Bar Master)and I, recently acquired a wonderful Hawaiian plant called the Alula or Olulu. The official botanical name is Brighamia insignis. All I know is that it is endemic to the Hawaiian islands of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau although it hasn’t been seen for some time on the latter island and some reports state that now on Kaua’i there is only one plant left in the wild. It is federally listed as an endangered plant, a lobelioid in the bellflower family - Campanulaceae. Does anyone know anything more about this plant?

post-3412-0-88248500-1381030672_thumb.jp post-3412-0-91808500-1381030689_thumb.jp

Lee

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Very interesting Lee.

Never heard of it before so used some of my go to sources for HI native species.

Apparently there are 2 endemic species of Brighamia in Hawaii. UH has some images of both on their botany website: Brighamia

Go to the National Tropical Botanical Garden website ( link: NTBG-Plant Info ), in the menu bar click on Choose A Plant, and on the Choose A Plant webpage, use the scroll down menu of scientific names and select Brighamia insignis - it will take you to a page chock full of info.

The Native Plants Hawaii website also has a bunch of info, including cultivation information: NPH

Hope this is helpful - gmp

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It appears to offered in a number of commercial plant websites......not that expensive but culture would be the issue, especially cold tolerance....Very interesting succulent plant.

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I think it grows also on an islet off of one of the main islands. IIRC, there is a gentleman who rappels down the cliff hand-pollinating this plant so it remains reproductive. I presume its natural pollinator has been exterminated or reduced in population too much to effectively support this plant.

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Thanks everyone. We found it at the Amy Greenwell Botanical Garden on the Big Island when we stopped by to look at a Pritchardia. The young woman at the desk couldn't tell us much about it and thought that there were only two existing in the wild. When we saw their stunning 3 1/2' one (not including the pot). We've been clearing a cliff that gets hot sun most of the day we

grabbed the last small one they had for sale.

George, thanks for researching and the plant and sharing the web sites.

Lee

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This plant was actually in my biology book last year. As Dave said, it had a specialized pollinator that is now extinct, so it's entirely dependent on human intervention to keep from extinction itself. Great score!

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This plant was actually in my biology book last year. As Dave said, it had a specialized pollinator that is now extinct, so it's entirely dependent on human intervention to keep from extinction itself. Great score!

Keith,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. You have explained why they can't just take nursery propagated plants and re-introduce them into the wild. No natural pollinator - no natural proliferation!

Lee

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenoflor/4572354928/

Here is an article on this being tissue cultured.

Jerry,

Thanks for taking the time to send the link. Incredibly interesting information on how a plant can go nearly extinct in a relatively short period of time.

Lee

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Lee I have tried a few of them, they actually have them occasionally at Home Depot in the native section over here. Snails and slugs are big

pests to them. And mine have all rotted out easily. I did get some seed from one that was in a pot on my rock wall, and I got some to germinate

and grow, but they died off. So I wonder how mine got pollinated??? Good luck

aloha

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