Haha (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana)

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Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana

ListedOctober 10, 1996
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower)
DescriptionShrub that bears purplish or greenish to yellowish white flowers.
HabitatMesic forest often dominated by 'ohi'a or o'hi'a and koa, or on rocky or steep slopes of stream banks.
ThreatsHabitat degradation and destruction caused by feral axis deer, goats, and pigs and competition with various alien plants.


Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana, a member of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae), is a shrub 3.3-10.5 ft (1.0-3.2 m) in height. The leaves are pinnately divided, with nine to 12 segments per side. The leaf blades are 10.6-22.9 in (26.9-58.2 cm) long and 5.5-12.6 in (13.9-32.0 cm) wide across the segments. The inflorescence comprises six to 12 flowers. The calyx lobes, 0.4-2.0 in (1.0-5.1 cm) long and 0.2-0.55 in (0.5-1.4 cm) wide, are egg-shaped to lance-shaped and overlap at the base. The petals, purplish or greenish to yellowish white and often suffused or striped with magenta, are 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm) long. The orange berries are 0.7-1.2 in (1.8-3.0 cm) long. This species is distinguished from others in this endemic Hawaiian genus by the pinnately lobed leaf margins and the width of the leaf blades. This sub-species is distinguished from the other two sub-species by the shape and size of the calyx lobes, which overlap at the base.

C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana was collected by Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupre in 1819 on Oahu, while he was pharmaceutical botanist on the vessel Uranie. Gaudichaud later described this plant and named it for the French navy's head pharmacist. Other published names considered synonymous with C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana include C. grime-siana var. lydgatei, C. grimesiana var. mauiensis, C. grimesiana var. munroi, and C. lobata var. hamakuae. The three currently recognized subspecies are the extinct ssp. cylindrocalyx, ssp. grimesiana, and the federally endangered ssp. obatae.


C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana is typically found in mesic forest often dominated by 'ohi'a or o'hi'a and koa, or on rocky or steep slopes of stream banks, at elevations between 1,150 and 3,100 ft (351 and 945 m). Associated plant taxa include Antidesma sp. (hame), Bobea sp. ('ahakea), Psychotria sp. (kopiko), Xylosma sp. (maua), and various native and alien ferns.


C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana had at least 40 historical populations located in the Waianae and Koolau mountains of Oahu, Wailau Valley, and Puu Kahea on Molokai, central and northern Lanai, and scattered locations on Maui. C. grimesiana ssp. grime-siana is now known from 14 populations on those four islands. In 1997 the total of all statewide populations consisted of less than 50 individuals.

Oahu populations in 2000 were located in the Waianae and Koolau Mountains. The Waianae Mountains populations were as follows: one population of three individuals from Mt. Kaala Natural Area Reserve; two populations of one individual each from North Haleauau Gulch on the federally owned Schofield Barracks Military Reservation and North Kaluaa Gulch on private land; and possibly three populations of an unknown number of individuals from Pahole Natural Area Reserve on state land. The three tentative populations reported from Pahole were not seen since the late 1970s; surveys conducted during 1996-97 proved unsuccessful in relocating them. The Koolau Mountains populations consisted of four individuals in Kului Gulch and three individuals in Waialae Iki-Kapakahi on state and private land.

Molokai has one population of five individuals on Kukuinui Ridge and another population of two individuals within Olokui Natural Area Reserve, both on state land.

On Lanai, one population of an unknown number of individuals at Kaiholena Gulch and one population of two individuals at Waiakeakua occur on private land.

Maui has two populations on private land of an unknown number of individuals at Iao Valley. A population previously reported in lower Kipahulu Valley within Haleakala National Park was determined to be C. asplenifolia, based on updated material on flowering.


The major threats to C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana are habitat degradation and destruction caused by feral axis deer, goats, and pigs and competition with various alien plants. Potential overcollection, trampling by hikers, crushing through military activities, and fire threaten the Palikea population on Oahu. The Oahu populations are also threatened by landslides. Additionally, rats are a potential threat since they are known to eat the fruits and girdle the stems of species in the bellflower family.

Two populations of C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana on Oahu are threatened by pigs, and goats threaten the Kukuinui Ridge population on Molokai. Activities of axis deer threaten one of the two populations of C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana on Lanai.

Cattle, deer, pig, and goat predation is a possible threat to this species, whose fleshy fruit is also a potential food source for hungry rats that occur in areas where this plant grows.

Collecting for scientific or horticultural purposes and visits by individuals avid to see rare plants are potential threats to C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana, of which populations are well known and near trails and roads.

Military training exercises, troop ground maneuvers, and helicopter landing and drop-off activities on Oahu could trample and flatten individuals of this species that occur on land leased or owned by the Army.

Lantana poses a threat on Kauai to two populations of C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana. Strawberry guava, a major invader of forests in the Waianae and Koolau Mountains of Oahu, poses an immediate threat to one population of C. grimesiana there. Strawberry guava threatens one of Lanai's populations of this plant. One of the two populations of C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana on Lanai is threatened by thimbleberry. Koster's curse poses a serious threat to two populations of this endangered plant in the Waianae Mountains of Oahu and threatens one of the two populations on Molokai.

Erosion, landslides, and rockslides due to natural weathering are particular threats to the Oahu populations of this plant.

Fire also poses a potential threat to populations of C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana.

Conservation and Recovery

The U.S. Army Garrison's five-year Ecosystem Management Plan to protect endangered species, prevent range fires, and minimize soil erosion is expected to enhance conservation of the C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana plants growing on the Schofield Barracks Military Reservation.

A long-range management plan has also been drafted for Honouliuli Preserve. It includes actions for alien plant management, ungulate control, fire control, small mammal control, rare species recovery, and native habitat restoration. These actions are expected to benefit C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana within the preserve.

C. grimesiana ssp. grimesiana has been successfully propagated at Lyon Arboretum's micropropagation laboratory and at Division of Forests and Wildlife's Pahole Plant Nursery. More than 1,000 seeds were in storage at the National Tropical Botanic Gardens in 1997.


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office, Division of Endangered Species
Eastside Federal Complex
911 N. E. 11th Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97232-4181
Telephone: (503) 231-6121


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 10 October 1996. "De-termination of Endangered or Threatened Status for Fourteen Plant Taxa from the Hawaiian Islands." Federal Register 61 (198): 53108-53124.

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Haha (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. grimesiana)

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