Haha (Cyanea hamatiflora ssp. hamatiflora)

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Cyanea hamatiflora ssp. hamatiflora

ListedSeptember 3, 1999
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower)
DescriptionA tropical shrub or small tree.
HabitatNative tropical wet montane forest.
ThreatsHabitat destruction, introduced mammalian herbivores, non-native slugs, and invasive alien plants.


The haha is a is a palm-like shrub or small tree that grows as tall as 10-26 ft (3-8 m). Its latex, which is visible when twigs are broken, is tan in color. The leaves are elliptical, with the broadest point near the tip, or they may be narrowly oblong. The leaf blades are 20-30 in (50-80 cm) long, 3-5.5 in (8-14 cm) wide, and have no petiole. The upper surface of the leaf is sparsely hairy to hairless, and the lower surface is hairy along the midrib and veins. The leaf margins are minutely round-toothed. The 5-10 flowered inflorescence is supported by a peduncle (stalk) 0.6-1.2 in (15-30 mm) long. The hypanthium is widest at the top, 0.5-1.2 in (12-30 mm) long, and 0.2-0.5 in (6-12 mm) wide. The corolla is magenta in color, 2-3 in (60-80 mm) long, 0.2-0.4 in (6-11 mm) wide, and hairless. The tube of the corolla is slightly curved, with lobes up to 0.5 times as long as the tube. The corolla lobes all curve downward, making the flower appear one-lipped. The anthers (pollen-bearing structures) are hairless except for the lower two, which have apical tufts of white hair. The ripe fruit is a purplish red berry, 1.2-1.8 in (30-45 mm) long, and 0.8-1.1 in (20-27 mm) wide. The berry is crowned by persistent calyx lobes. This subspecies is differentiated from Cyanea hamatiflora carlsonii by its longer calyx lobes and shorter individual flower stalks, and from others in this endemic Hawaiian genus by having fewer flowers per inflorescence and narrower leaves.


Typical habitat of the haha is tropical montane wet forest dominated by The o'hia (Metrosideros polymorpha ). It occurs over an altitudinal range of 3,200-4,920 ft (975-1,500 m).


The haha is a locally evolved, or endemic species that is only known from the island of Maui, Hawaii. The Hawaiian archipelago has an extremely large fraction of endemic species; about 89% of the indigenous flowering plants occur nowhere else in the world. The haha was historically known from eight locations on the windward (northeastern) side of Haleakala, on Maui, stretching from Puu o Kakae to Manawainui.


The major threats to the haha are habitat degradation and destruction caused by feral pigs, landslides, and competition with the alien plant, sticky snakeroot (Ageratina adenophora ). Introduced rats and slugs are also potential threats, since other Hawaiian members of this family are known to be eaten by these herbivores. Because of its limited range and small population size, the haha is also potentially threatened by catastrophic events of weather, wildfire, or other disturbances. The haha is now known from only two areas. There are five or six populations totaling 50-100 individuals in Kipahulu Valley within Haleakala National Park, and five or six populations totaling 20-25 widely scattered individuals in the Waikamoi-Koolau Gap area on privately owned land.

Conservation and Recovery

One of the surviving population of the haha is located within Haleakala National Park, which is managed to conserve its indigenous biodiversity. The other, smaller population is on private land, and is potentially at risk from disturbance or other human actions. Conservation of the endangered haha requires that all of its remaining critical habitat be protected and managed to reduce the threats posed by non-native herbivores and competitors. The populations of the haha should be monitored against further change, and research undertaken to develop a better understanding of degrading influences faced by the endangered plant, and ways of mitigating those effects.


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

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pacific Islands Ecoregion, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 3-122
P. O. Box 50088
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850
Telephone: (808) 541-3441
Fax: (808) 541-3470


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 3 September 1999. "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Final Endangered Status for 10 Plant Taxa From Maui Nui, Hawaii." Federal Register 64(171): 48307-48324.

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Haha (Cyanea hamatiflora ssp. hamatiflora)

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