Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum (A. Gray) Meyrat — Overview

Haleakala Silversword learn more about names for this taxon

IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)


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Range Description

Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum is endemic to the island of Maui, where is restricted to the subalpine and alpine deserts of Haleakala on East Maui. The taxon is restricted to a 1,000 ha site in the crater and on the outer slopes of Haleakala Volcano.

The taxon declined markedly in the 1800s and early 1900s due to human vandalism (climbers dug up and brought back plants to show they had reached the summit) and to browsing by goats and cattle, and reached a low point in the 1920s. A reasonable estimate of the population size made in 1935 was 4,000 individuals. The taxon has rebounded since then due to protection measures, and deserves attention as one of the great conservation success stories in the Hawaiian Islands. There are currently seven known subpopulations. The population is estimated to number about 65,000 individuals and is increasing.


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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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