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Adenophorus periens; Kihi Fern Palai La'au   

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Adenophorus periens
Adenophorus periens
Kihi Fern Palai La'au
Photographer: Eric White

ID: 0000 0000 1016 0217 (2016-10-02)

Copyright © 2016 Eric White

  • date of photo  Jan 17, 2016
  • location   Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve (Hawaii County, Hawaii, Big Island (Hawaiian Islands), US)
  • family Grammitidaceae
  • plant community   Wet forest, 700 - 1300m
  • notes   When I first began studying this fern, I was intrigued that it had become rare and that it was reduced to only 2 islands. On further study, I found that it had disappeared from the National Park and that the largest population was only 5 miles from my house. I began searching for this plant (listed as endangered now) and was frustrated that it was no longer plentiful along the trail in Kahaualea NAR. After a few years, I finally found a fern, and on that excitement, I continued searching for more. I spent more time searching, and checking on the one fern I had found. I also checked with botanists on Kauai where several small populations had been recorded in the past, but they reported that they had not seen the fern since the 1990's. The endangered species 5-year reports showed a very rapid decline in population. I started to realize that this one fern could possibly be the last and kept a close eye on it. I told my children about it and mentioned it every time we drove by the road which cut off the highway to the trailhead leading into the forest where it was found. Even after I moved off island, I would check on it when I was in the area. Unfortunately, this January (2016), I hiked to the fern and found no live fronds. The IUCN now lists it as critically endangered and possibly extinct. Sure, I hope that there are more to be found and perhaps live spores can be obtained. But, I became so connected with this species after years of sweat and mud and working my way through invasives. It was a beautiful fern with alternating, twisting pinnae, hanging pendant on tree trunks in the rain forest. When I would photograph it, I would listen to the Omao and Apapane singing around me. One day, returning from the fern, I startled a Hawaiian Hoary Bat as I worked my way through a thick section of Uluhe, and I'm sure it scared me as much as it did the bat. Let's hope there are more pendant Kihi ferns, just a little further out in the forest.
  • camera   iPhone 6
  • photo category: Plant - fern

  • common names   Kihi Fern Palai La'au (photographer)
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    Using this photo   The thumbnail photo (128x192 pixels) on this page may be freely used for personal or academic purposes without prior permission under the Fair Use provisions of US copyright law as long as the photo is clearly credited with © 2016 Eric White. For other uses, or if you have questions, contact Eric White eric.white[AT] (Replace the [AT] with the @ symbol before sending an email.)


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