Haha (Cyanea mceldowneyi)

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Cyanea mceldowneyi

ListedMay 15, 1992
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower)
DescriptionUnbranched shrub with prickly, hardened teeth leaves and a cluster of flowers whose petals are white with purple stripes.
HabitatWet montane forests.
ThreatsHabitat destruction by feral animals; competing plant species.


This haha, Cyanea mceldowneyi, an unbranched shrub in the bellflower family, has leaves 8-14 in (20.3-35.6 cm) long. These leaves have wedge-shaped bases, hardened teeth, and occasionally a few short prickles on the upper surface. Immature leaves are distinguished by their shorter length, rounded bases, hardened marginal teeth, and a greater number of prickles. The flowers of C. mceldowneyi are a five-to-seven-member cluster with a 0.6-1.2 in (1.5-3 cm) stalk. Each flower is on a stalk 0.4-0.6 in (1-1.5 cm) in length. The petals, which are white with purple stripes, are fused into a curved tube that is 1.6 in (4.1 cm) long and 0.3 in (7.6 mm) wide; there are small prickles on the lobes, and berries have not been observed.


C. mceldowneyi typically grows in wet montane forests with mixed Metrosideros and Acacia koa at an elevation of 3,000-4,200 ft (914-1,280 m). Associated native plant species include alani, manono, and 'ohi'a. Associated alien plants include Ageratina adenophora, Rubus argutus, Setaria palmifolia, and Tibouchina herbacea.


Historically, C. mceldowneyi was found in rain forests from west of Waikamoi to Honomanu on northwestern Haleakala at 3,030-4,200 ft (924-1,280 m). This species is now known from six populations, ranging from 2,950 to 4,200 ft (899-1,280 m) in elevation, in the vicinity of Waikamoi Drainage on East Maui. All populations occur on private land owned by Alexander & Baldwin, none of which is part of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii Waikamoi Preserve. Only one population contained more than ten individuals in 1994. Even this relatively large population (more than 100 individuals) represents a population drastically reduced since the late 1970s by feral pig impacts. Feral pig activity is intense in the area, and fresh disturbance of the habitat continues. The status of the Honomanu population is not known.


C. mceldowneyi is threatened by (1) habitat destruction caused by animal predation and trampling, (2) competition from aggressive alien plants that rob the species of space and nutrients, and (3) habitat loss due to fire, human recreational activities, and military exercises.

Conservation and Recovery

C. mceldowneyi has been successfully propagated by the Lyon Arboretum.


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

Pacific Remote Islands Ecological Services Field Office
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Room 3-122
P. O. Box 50088
Honolulu, Hawaii 96850
Telephone: (808) 541-1201
Fax: (808) 541-1216


U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 15 May 1992. "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered or Threatened Status for 15 Plants from the Island of Maui, Hawaii." Federal Register 57 (95): 20772-20787.

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Haha (Cyanea mceldowneyi)

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