Haha (Cyanea shipmannii)

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Cyanea shipmannii

ListedMarch 4, 1994
FamilyCampanulaceae (Bellflower)
DescriptionShrub with few or no branches; small, sharp projections; wide and deeply cut stalked leaves; and greenish white flowers that are covered with fine hairs and clustered in groups of 10-15.
HabitatKoa- and 'ohi'a-dominated montane mesic forests at elevations of 5,400-6,200 ft (1,646-1,890 m).
ThreatsLimited numbers.


This haha, Cyanea shipmannii, is a shrub with few or no branches. It can grow to be 8-13 ft (2.5-4 m) tall and features small, sharp projections, especially when young. The plant's alternate stalked leaves are 6.7-12 in (17-30.5 cm) long, 2.8-5.5 in (7.1-14 cm) wide, and deeply cut into 20-30 lobes per leaf. Flowers are covered with fine hairs and are clustered in groups of 10-15; the main stalk is 0.4-1.2 in (1-3 cm) long, and each flower stalk is 0.4-0.6 in (1-1.5 cm) long. The hypanthium is topped with five small calyx lobes. This haha's pale greenish white petals (1.2-1.4 in [3-3.6 cm] long) are fused into a curved five-lobed tube 0.1-0.2 in (2.5-5.1 mm) wide. The fruit is an ellipsoid berry. C. shipmannii is distinguished from others in the genus by 1) its slender stems, 2) its stalked, pinnately lobed leaves, and 3) its smaller flowers.


This species typically grows in koa-and 'ohi'a-dominated montane mesic forests at elevations of 5,400-6,200 ft (1,646-1,890 m). Associated species include kawa'u and kolea.


C. shipmannii has been known from only one population, located on the island of Hawaii on the eastern slope of Mauna Kea on private land.

When originally discovered, only one mature plant was found. Since 1975 four populations have been identified. The total number of individuals is unknown but estimated at fewer than 10.


Recent pig rooting of tree ferns and other native taxa was evident at the Upper Waiakea Forest population. Small numbers of extant individuals and localized distribution may result in a limited gene pool and reduced reproductive vigor, as well as vulnerability to extirpation by random events. Small population size probably affects vector and flower relationships, precluding or reducing effective pollination; furthermore, reduction in the number of endemic nectar feeding birds may have disrupted their fundamental role in pollination.

Conservation and Recovery

Seeds have been germinated at Volcano Rare Plant Facility at the Volcano Agricultural Station. About ten plants are growing in the garden and four in the greenhouse. Lyon Arboretum has cloned about 300 individuals from immature seed. An individual found in 1994 by Thane Pratt in a shaded ravine south of Powefi'me Road in the Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve is now protected from feral pigs by a small fence built by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife. The individual appears healthy.

Propagation and maintenance of ex situ stock should be continued and current populations protected from pigs and augmented. One new population will need to be established and numbers increased in order to meet recovery criteria.


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. 4 March 1994. "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Determination of Endangered or Threatened Status for 21 Plants from the Island of Hawaii, State of Hawaii." Federal Register 59 (43): 10305-10325.

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Haha (Cyanea shipmannii)

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