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Silversword Photos from Hawaii

Argyroxiphium sandwicense

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The Hawaiian silversword is an indigenous plant consisting of a rosette of narrow, pointed (swordlike) leaves densely covered by silver hairs that form a sphere. At some point during its life it sends up a spectacular flowering stalk that can reach six feet in height. Each stalk can produce hundreds of maroon sunflowerlike flower heads.

The Haleakala silversword is found in the crater and outer slopes of Haleakala Volcano above the 6,890-ft elevation. The silversword flowers only once, at the end of its lifetime (15-50 years), produces seeds and then dies.

The Mauna Kea silversword found on the slopes of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii tends to differ from the Haleakala silversword in having a longer, narrower flowering stalk, fewer ray flowers, and longer, narrower, and straighter leaves.

In this gallery we trace the life cycle of the silversword with superb photos of all life-stages thanks to the photos of Forest & Kim Starr of the USGS.

Images 1-12 of 36
Potted Plants - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - November 07, 2001Haleakala Silversword - Potted PlantsIn Pot - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - November 07, 2001Haleakala Silversword - In PotPlanted - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - November 07, 2001Haleakala Silversword - PlantedRosette - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - October 3, 2005Haleakala Silversword - Rosette
Rosette - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - November 14, 2002Haleakala Silversword - RosetteRosette - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - May 28, 2000Haleakala Silversword - RosetteRosette - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - February 7, 2002Haleakala Silversword - RosetteRosette - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - October 13, 2005Haleakala Silversword - Rosette
With Petticoat - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - October 13, 2005Haleakala Silversword - With PetticoatBolting - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - Augustr 13, 2004Haleakala Silversword - BoltingBolting - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - August 13, 2004Haleakala Silversword - BoltingWith Petticoat - Haleakala National Park, Hawaii - October 3, 2001Haleakala Silversword - With Petticoat
Photos of Hawaiian Flowers and Trees
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