Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum  x Wilkesia gymnoxiphium

 

A. sandwicense Artificial Hybrid W. gymnoxiphium

Great effort was taken to produce the artificial hybrid between these species.  They are found at opposite ends of the island chain and having them flower synchronously in cultivation is an extremely unlikely event. In fact, the flowering times of the species in the field are usually mutually exclusive. However, during very favorable years there is a slight overlap in flowering and one such year afforded the opportunity to produce a hybrid by collecting pollen from Wilkesia on Kauai and flying it to Maui on the same day to pollinate stigmas of an early-flowering individual of Argyroxiphium. This pollination "by jet aircraft" resulted in several hybrid fruits. Though it was successfully cultivated for some time, unfortunately this hybrid did not reach flowering maturity.


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