Dubautia microcephala Skottsberg

Shrub or small tree with relatively few spreading branches 1-4 m tall, leaves opposite. Diagnostic features of the species include decompound, pyramidal flower clusters with white villous peduncles and purple, uniseriate, proximally coalescent, obovate to oblanceolate receptacular bracts 2-3 mm long. Flowering occurs from August to November.

This species is found only on Kaua'i, occurring in mesic to fairly wet forest habitats ranging from about 825-1,275 m. The sites occupied by the species receive about 115-250 cm of annual precipitation.

Last Modification: March 20, 2000

Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.

Shrub nearly ready to flower, (photo 1985, Kahuama'a Flat, Kaua'i)
Habit with Jan Dvorak (molecular and cytogenetics) for scale. (photo 1985, Kahuama'a Flat, Kaua'i)
Closer view of shoots in early floral development. (photo 1985, Kahuama'a Flat, Kaua'i)
A cluster of flowering heads on a cultivated plant (photo 1979)
dmic_kals.jpg (8481 bytes) Flowering shoot from specimen on the cliffs near Kalalau Lookout, Kaua'i.   Collections of D. microcephala from these cliff habitats share a tendency for dwarfed plant size, small leaves, reduced pubescence in the capitulescence, smaller than normal heads with greenish rather than purplish receptacular bracts, and conspicuous black glands in the capitulescence. In most non-dwarfed specimens the glands are light colored and are obscured by white-villous trichomes that are lacking in the nearly glabrous, dwarfed forms.

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