A rare glimpse of the flowering Haleakalā Silversword reminds us that many things in life are worth waiting for. Taking years to reach maturity, these Silverswords create stalks of flowers up to six feet high when ready.
They live in a harsh environment on the island of Maui several thousand feet above sea level where it is cold, windy, dry.
A cousin of this, called the Mauna Kea Silversword lives on the neighboring island of Hawaii and is considered a sub-species.
From the Photographer:
“The Haleakalā silversword is an endangered plant that grows on Hawaii’s volcanic cinder. It’s a dry and rocky substrate that is subject to freezing temperatures and high winds. The skin and hairs are strong enough to resist the wind and freezing temperature of this altitude and protect the plant from dehydration and the heat of the sun.
The plant’s life – which may be greater than 50 years, will eventually grow to bloom these spectacular blossoms. They sort of look like raspberry-sunflowers.. What do you think?”