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6/19/08 - Kipuka Puaulu, HVNP

Posted Friday 20th June 2008 at 07:55 by bkrownd
Updated Friday 20th June 2008 at 22:10 by bkrownd
After work I made a short visit to kipuka puaulu in the volcano park. Recently I found a PDF scan of a 1967 inventory and map of the interesting trees in several areas of the volcano park, including kipuka puaulu. I was hoping to find some of these trees for my photo galleries. If nothing else, I was hoping to find a stump or two.

I started on a good omen, as I actually found the first tree, a xylosma, exactly where the map showed it. However it was clear that the present tree is far younger than the map. I eventually located 2 modestly sized xylosma plus a tiny seedling. One has fruit, and I need to return in better light with my big lens to get a photo.

I found no sign of the pritchardia lanigera which once stood at the beginning of the loop trail.

One of the trees I was most interested in, marked clearly on the map but described as "missing" by 1965 in the text, is the endangered nothocestrum breviflorum. In its place I found another mysterious tree that doesn't match its description. (Later determined to be the first full-sized kauila tree I've encountered.) I guess that's a good trade... I read that the 'aiea I seek might be found further up the mountainside in kipuka ki.

I found a particular pilo tree in fruit, which is a photo I've been looking for.

I checked the big clermontia hawaiiensis, but its flowers still haven't opened.

I found several more zanthoxylum dipetalum trees, and flower buds and flowers on a couple of them. These are quite rare.

I also found a couple more of the rare melicope hawaiensis trees.

I noticed a huge individual of one tree I haven't identified by species yet, as large as any of the manele or the huge dead 'ohi'a in the kipuka. Again, I have to return with my big lens to see if I can get photos of possible fruit far up near the top, which could be key to identifying it.

Papala trees are near the peak of their flowering. Papala kepau are also flowering.

I checked several other interesting trees and shrubs, as well. A great success for just an hour of looking around. The 1967 botanical inventory has maps of several other areas for me to check throughout the volcano park.
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