A small to very large shrub with robust, rigid, ascending stems to 2.5 m tall, leaves in whorls of 3, opposite, or alternate. Diagnostic features of the species include elliptic to elliptic-ovate, hispid-ciliate, mostly 3-nerved leaves less than 5 cm long, and heads with mostly 12-25 florets. Flowering occurs mostly from July to December.
This species is found only on East Maui where it occurs in high altitude scrub or alpine desert vegetation at elevations ranging from 1,800-3,075 m. It is commonly the dominant species in the vegetation occurring in the upper reaches of its range. The sites occupied by the species receive about 50-180 cm of annual precipitation.
Last Modification: January 23, 2005
Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.
|Vegetative shrub. (photo 1982, Haleakala summit, E. Maui)|
|At nearly 3000 m, it can freeze any night of the year. In the winter, snow may accumulate and persist. (photo 1968, Haleakala, E. Maui)|
|A flowering plant. (photo 1982, near Haleakala summit, E. Maui)|
|Cluster of flowering heads. (photo 1991, near summit of Haleakala, E. Maui)|
|Detail of single head, note cup-like false involucre of uniseriate, coalesced receptacular chaff.|
|An unusually large plant more than 2 m tall. (photo 1976, near Polipoli State Park, E. Maui)|
|Some of the plants in this vicinity bear an uncanny resemblance to D. ciliolata, a species otherwise known only from the island of Hawai'i. Moreover, on Hawai'i, D. ciliolata and D. arborea hybridize to produce a form nearly indistinguishable from D. menziesii. (photo 1976, near Polipoli State Park, E. Maui)|
|Another very unusual form from the same vicinity. (photo 1976, near Polipoli State Park, E. Maui)|
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