Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Volcano in Hawaii County, Hawaii — Hawaiian Island Archipelago (Pacific Ocean)
 

Once in their lifetime, silverswords erupt in flowers

 
 
Once in their lifetime, silverswords erupt in flowers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 3, 2017
1. Once in their lifetime, silverswords erupt in flowers Marker
Inscription. After 10 to 30 years, the Mauna Loa silversword ('āhinahina) sends up a spectacular stalk of fragrant flowers as tall as 9 feet (over 3 meters), then it dies. Each seed it drops has the potential to begin a new generation.
Although they share the same ancestors, Mauna Loa silverswords are a separate and distinct species from those found on Mauna Kea or Haleakalā. These beauties generally sport fewer flower petals and their slightly thinner leaves are not quite as hairy as their kin.
Foraging ungulates (cattle, sheep, and goats) feast on the silverswords like kids devour ice cream. By the early 1990s, the entire species was limited to a handful of plants clining to survival at just a few remote sites.

Muscles, science and volunteers save the silverswords from extinction

Toiling on hard rock at high altitude, park crews erected miles of fence and smaller "exclosures" to keep out ungulates.
When the babies were old enough, park crews, botanists, students, and community volunteers transplanted more than 10,000 of those seedlings into the fenced exclosures.
Finally, in the spring of 2013, botanists were elated to discover dozens of new seedlings had sprouted in the exclosures. Now safe inside their fences, this wild seedlings are slowly returning to Mauna Loa.
Silversword on Mauna Kea image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 1, 2017
2. Silversword on Mauna Kea


Visit the public viewing area.

This short trail leads to 29 Mauna Loa silverswords that botanists planted here in early 2014. Some have already bloomed!
Join us in protecting these endangered jewels. Stay on the trail and do not step beyond the protective rope.
 
Erected by National Park Service, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
 
Location. 19° 29.559′ N, 155° 23.121′ W. Marker is near Volcano, Hawaii, in Hawaii County. Marker is on Mauna Loa Road near Mamalahoa Highway (Hawaii Route 11), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Volcano HI 96785, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mauna Loa (approx. 8.1 miles away); Explosive eruptions rock Kīlauea volcano (approx. 8.2 miles away); The "Firepit" of Halema'uma'u (approx. 9.2 miles away); Site of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (approx. 9.4 miles away); The Volcano House reigns as one of America's great lodges (approx. 9.4 miles away); Kilauea (approx. 9.4 miles away); Countless are the Accomplishments of Roosevelt's Trusty "Tree Army"
Kīlauea from Mauna Loa Lookout image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 3, 2017
3. Kīlauea from Mauna Loa Lookout
(approx. 9.4 miles away); Hilo -- Pu'u'ō'ō Trail (Ka'ūmana Trail) (approx. 12.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Volcano.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Mauna Loa Lookout at the end of paved portion of Mauna Loa Road.
 
Categories. EnvironmentScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 3, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 3, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A mid-distance view of the marker and a view of a Mauna Loa Silversword • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement