Monday, May 20, 2013

Plant Photo Album: Plants High Above Honolulu

Hills above Honolulu
Hiking the hills above Honolulu
    Plants from around the world have been introduced into Hawaii, hundreds of them.  Visitors, walking through touristy areas, see big, colorful tropical plants, but very few of those plants are native Hawaiian species.
View from trail, above Honolulu
View from Trail
   However, all the Hawaiian islands are surprisingly rugged, with remote areas that are hard to reach.  AND there are hidden pockets of natural vegetation close by.

   Visiting Honolulu in 1982, we took a hike above the city that was memorable for being so close to the city and so wild. I checked the internet and the trail is there: To find it, we did what Every Trail says, we drove the rental car up and up until the road ran out.

view from the trail, Honolulu
View from the trail

  The first section was through a tangle of guava (Psidium guava) trees. This is the edible guava, and fruits can be found on these short trees. Guava is an invasive weed in Hawaii and I scorned to take a picture. It is a useful plant, but out of control.

    Beyond the guava forest, however, the trail continued to rise and soon much of the vegetation was native.

   The hills were spectacular.
looking into the forest
looking into the forest

trail above Honolulu
trail above Honolulu

    We hiked through a complex forest.

flower, Smilax melostomifolia
Flower of hoi kuahiwi, Smilax melostomifolia
(Smilacaceae, greenbriar family

   The flowers of native plants are often small but exquisite.

flowers, Scaveola Goodeniacae
Flowers, Scaveola sp.,
naupaka (Goodeniaceae)

koa, Acacia koa (pea family, Fabaceae)
koa, Acacia koa (pea family, Fabaceae)

     Koa, Acacia koa (pea family, Fabaceae) is one of the two dominant native trees of Hawaii. Along the trail, were grand old koas. When we were there, in March, they were flowering.
koa flowers, with honey bee
koa flowers, with honeybee

        Then we turned a corner and there was Honolulu laid out below. So far and yet so near.
Looking back at Honolulu
Looking back at Honolulu

Comments and corrections welcome.

Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
Join me on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment