Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum  x A. virescens

 

Probably Extinct

A. sandwicense Natural Hybrid A. virescens

Two unusual greenswords occurring on Pu’u Alaea in 1989 reportedly possessed vegetative features characteristic of the presumed extirpated species, Argyroxiphium virescens. One of these Pu’u Alaea plants flowered in August, 1989, allowing detailed comparisons with preserved specimens of Argyroxiphium virescens as well as other species and hybrids of Argyroxiphium native to E Maui. These comparisons suggest that the unusual Pu’u Alaea greenswords represent remnants of hybridization between the now presumably extinct A. virescens and the more common Haleakala silversword, A. sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum, that still occurs at and adjacent to this site.  Pollen stainability in this hybrid was 62%.  Chromosome pairing data are not available.


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