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Lobelioids. Haha. How and when did Lobelioids come to arrive in Hawai’i? In what ways have they adapted to Hawaiian habitats? How have each of the endemic species adapted? What are the causes of some species disappearing?. How Lobelioids reached the Hawaiian archipelago. Indo-pacific region

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How lobelioids reached the hawaiian archipelago
How Lobelioids reached the Hawaiian archipelago

  • Indo-pacific region

    • tropical climate

    • growing conditions

  • Andes: fleshly fruited lobelia

    • Centropogon, Burmeistera

  • Seeds carried by muddy birds

  • 4,000 mile trip

  • roughly 5 million year ago

Makai to mauka
Makai to mauka

  • Deposited along coast the islands

  • Adapted inland to less harsh climate

    • Makai to mauka : coast to forest


  • Arborescence

  • Gigantism

  • Protection

  • Dispersal

  • Pollination

Most all of these adaptations can be attributed to Hawaii’s mild climate which stimulates year round growth

Arborescence becoming a tree
Arborescence“becoming a tree”

  • Weedy forms okay as colonist

  • Evolve to be more treelike to match densely vegetated areas

  • Woody forms can compete best for light

  • Rosetta/whorl of leaves


  • Gigantism

    • Seeds, leaves (rosette), height

  • Dispersal

    • Termatolobia

    • “salt shaker”



  • spikes/teeth on some juvenile plants of cyanea and rollandia

  • Fall off when adulthood reached

  • some “permanently juvenile”

    • Cyanea marksii

  • Land snails and some insects

  • Pollination

    • Hawk moth

    • Honeycreepers

      • Clermontia excessive flower types

  • Lobelioids1

    • Delissea

    • Cyanea

    • Rollandia

    • Clermontia

    • Lobelia

    • Trematolobelia

    • Brighamia


    • Best represents features of immigrants

      • Large seeds

      • Numerous flowered inflorescent


    • Distinguished by

      • Large wrinkled seeds

      • Pimple like projection on flower

    • Habitat: dry forest

      • Site of original colonization

    Cyanea haha haha nui haha lua aku aku popolo pua kala aku
    Cyaneahaha, haha nui, haha lua, 'aku'aku, popolo, pua kala, 'aku

    • Much more diversified and common than delissea

    • Habitat : wet shade forests

    • Spikes/spines on juvenile plants

    • Absent when adulthood reached

    • Cyanea marksii never “grows up”


    • Stamens are adherent to collola

    • Rosetta treelike species has adapted to many varied habitats

    • Lower wet to upper dry areas

      • R. lanceolata : wide hairy leaves

    • Deep shady gulches

      • R. pinnatifida : juvenile plant has toothed leaves; adult losses teeth

    • Windy wet ridges

      • R. st johnii : short stem, leaves curled with protective shiny surface

    Clermontia oha oha wai oha wai nui haha haha aiakamanu
    Clermontia 'oha, 'oha wai, 'oha wai nui, haha, haha'aiakamanu,

    Diversification in flowers

    Sepals unusually long, some as long as the petals

    Main pollinator honeycreeper

    Lobelia oha or ohawai
    Lobelia oha or ohawai

    • Only genus occurring else where in the world

    • Typically wet places world wide

    • Large rosettes on top of huge stalks

    • Plant dies after fruiting

    Trematolobelia koli i
    Trematolobelia koli’i

    • One species, with many varieties

    • Specializes in seed dispersal

    • Lives in the wettest places

    Brighamia puaala aluli ohahah
    Brighamia puaala, aluli, ohahah

    • Grows on the steep cliffs of Kavai, Molokai (& formerly Niihau)

    Characteristically a

    single rosette of leaves on top of a thick succulent stem

    What are some causes of disappearance
    What are some causes of disappearance?

    • Loss of dispersibility

    • Loss of competitiveness

      • Invasive species

    • Human activity

      • Loss of habitat

      • Introduction of livestock

    • Loss of pollinators

      • Mamo and I’iwi

      • Fewer Hawk moths

    • Unknown reasons




    bibliography years ago and have since has uniquely adapted drastically in

    • Carquest, Sherwin. Hawaii: A Natural History. Honolulu: SB printers,inc.1980

    • Carr, Dr. Gerald. U of Hawaii Botany Department. <http://www.botany.hawaii.edu>

    • Fosberg, Raymond F., and Dieter Mueller-Dombois. Vegitation of the Tropical Pacific Islands. New York: Springer-Verlag.1998

    • Herbst, Sohmer, and Warren L. Wagner. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii.2vols. Honolulu: U of Hawaii Press.1990

    • Millen, Priscilla. U of Hawaii Distance Education Web Page. <http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/millen/bot130/>

    • New York Botanical Garden. Vascular Plant Type Catalog. <http://www.nybg.org/bsci/hcol/vasc/campanulaceae.html>