Kaua‘i is the oldest of the main Hawaiian islands, and during those millennia many native plants have evolved into new species. Some of the highest concentrations of rare plant species are found on Kaua‘i, and many of them are so rare that only a few individuals remain in the wild. Click link to learn more about our DLNR Rare Plant Program.

See below for a few examples of the rare plants found in Kaua‘i, the threats these plants face, and to find out how you can do your part to protect them.

The eye-catching ʻŌlulu or Alula (Bringhamia insignis) are a succulent like plant endemic to Kaua’i.                        Photo credit (above and right): National Tropical Botanical Gardens

Illustration of flowering Bringhamia insignis.


Bringhamia insignis are one of the most endangered plants on Kaua‘i. It is believed that the native pollinator of this plant is either extremely endangered or extinct, which has led to a decrease in populations of these plants. Competition from exotic vegetation and predation and disturbance by ungulates have also contributed to the decline of this species.





A close-up of the flowers of the Hāhā (Cyanea habenata).  © Seana Walsh

The Cyanea habenata,         © Seana Walsh


The Hāhā (Cyanea habenata)  also known as the “Stream-bed Cyanea” is endemic to Kaua’i.  The plant genera Cyanae is one of the most species-rich in Hawai’i, but many of the species are endangered. Habitat destruction, loss of pollinators, and invasive plants and animals have also contributed to the decline of this species.






Taking on Hawaii’s Plant Extinction Crisis



If you would like to help protect these unique plants please follow the code of conduct below.

DOFAW is a member agency of the Hawaiʻi Rare Plant Restoration Group and supports the group’s Rare Plant Code of Conduct. Click on the image above to view and download the outreach brochure and open the link on the right under “Rare Plant Quick Links” to read the full text version of the code.