New native Hawaiian flower discovered

  • Hank Oppenheimer PEPP / Contributed photo

    PEPP Botanist Steve Perlman examines the only known plant of Cyanea heluensis.

  • Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP) / Contributed photo

    Cyanea heluensis, a newly described native plant. The only known individual was discovered in wet ohia forest on Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui).

LAHAINA — Hawai‘i’s rich collection of unique, native plant species has added a new member to its ranks: a new species has been described for the first time. Only one individual of the new species, named Cyanea heluensis, is currently known from a remote location in West Maui. While exploring the steep slopes of Helu above Lahaina, botanist Hank Oppenheimer and colleague Jennifer Higashino found a single large plant in the deep shade of a healthy ‘ohi‘a forest.