When we talk of endangered species we also take in account the rare and exquisite characteristics that they possess which make them special. This uniqueness is one of the reasons for which the species must be conserved. A rare and endangered species called the “Crown Jewel” of the island of Hawaii takes seven years to bloom and, at that note, blooms only once in its lifetime. The plant, however, has a lifespan of up to 90 years but the Crown Jewel flower is special for its once in a lifetime appearance. It has been famously given the name the Flower of Patience. The real name of this plant is Mauna Kea Silversword, which is a subspecies of Argyroxiphium sandwicense.
The plant is found only in Hawaii and is now present in a small number, which makes it fairly exotic. It has been federally enlisted now as an endangered species. Its original habitat has a rather unfriendly and inhospitable environment. However, the Argyroxiphium thrived there and adapted itself.
The plant starts as a small shrub and takes a long time to bloom into the towering flower. The Crown Jewel flower can reach up to six feet. Taking seven years to bloom it lasts only seven days, after which it withers.
The flower is a single-stemmed, erect monocarpic and produces clusters of globular, spirally arranged sword-shaped leaves. The leaves are also covered completely and thickly with long silver hair.
Conservationists have long since tried to protect this unique flower. Haleakala National Park was formed to save the faltering number of the Haleakala Silversword. While only 100 flowers were present during 1927 in the Haleakala slopes, botanists have been successful in reproducing almost 40,000 haleakala silverswords. However, it has been rather difficult to save the mauna kea silverswordsvdue to feral cattle feeding on them. Yet scientists have been attempting to cultivate it and even protect the remaining ones with fences.
If you are to visit Hawaii, you can look for these plants on the Mauna Kea mountain – a dormant volcano. One of the active volcanoes of The Big Island, Mauna Loa, also gloats about their presence.
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