Haha (Cyanea pinnatifida)

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Cyanea pinnatifida

ListedOctober 29, 1991
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower)
DescriptionUnbranched shrub with large, lobed leaves and clusters of greenish white flowers striped with purple.
HabitatSteep, rocky slopes in moist forest.
ThreatsFeral pigs, alien plant species, and low numbers.


Cyanea pinnatifida is an unbranched shrub of the bellflower family that grows 2.6-10 ft (0.8-3 m) tall. The deeply lobed leaves are 10-24 in (24.4-61 cm) long and 6-20 in (15.2-50.8 cm) wide. Greenish white flowers with purple stripes appear in clusters of eight to 15 at the leaf axils. This species has been observed flowering in August. The fruits have not been described. This species has also been known by the names Lobelia pinnatifida, Rollandia pinnatifida, Delissea pinnatifida, and C. selachicauda.


C. pinnatifida is found in the Waianae Mountains in diverse moist forest on steep, rocky slopes at elevations of 1,500-1,600 ft (457-488 m). Associated species are mamaki (Pipturus albidus ) and a variety of ferns.


First collected in 1817 from the central Waianae Mountains, C. pinnatifida has never been found any-where else. In 1997 the only known population consisted of one plant on private land in Kaluaa Gulch.


The greatest threat to C. pinnatifida is mortality due to environmental disturbances such as washout and falling rocks and trees. Predation by rats and slugs are also potential threats.

The species is not immediately threatened by alien weeds; weeding of Koster's curse on the steep slope above the plant could be more of a threat than the weeds themselves. The plant is not directly threatened by pigs because of its location on the side of a gulch wall, and fencing is not feasible.

With only a single living representative, C. pinnatifida is extremely vulnerable to extinction through an unpredictable natural or human-caused event. Even one instance of collecting or trampling would be disastrous.

Conservation and Recovery

Twenty-five individuals have been cloned by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife at the mid-elevation Nike missile site in the Waianae Mountains. Two individuals were outplanted in a fenced enclosure in Kaluaa Gulch in May 1996 in Honouliuli Preserve and are being monitored. This species is also being propagated at the Lyon Arboretum and the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

Surveys are needed of appropriate habitat in historical locations to determine if any other extant populations of this plant exist.

Potential management actions include weeding of invasive plants and control of feral pigs, slugs, and ratsif and when these threats are serious enough to warrant direct intervention. Once adequate propagated material is available and appropriate fencing, rat control, and weed removal are under way in the area of the remaining plant, this population should be enhanced by outplanting. Establishment of new populations within the historical range of C. pinnatifida should be initiated, but only in areas that are managed to minimize the impacts of feral ungulates, rats, and alien plants.


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


Cuddihy, L. W., and C. P. Stone. 1990. Alteration of Native Hawaiian Vegetation: Effects of Humans, Their Activities and Introductions. Cooperative National Park Resources Study Unit, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Stone, C. P., and J. M. Scott, eds. 1985. Hawaii's Terrestrial Ecosystems: Preservation and Management. Cooperative National Park Resources Study Unit, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

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Haha (Cyanea pinnatifida)

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