Cyanea angustifolia

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Cyanea

Species

angustifolia

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hāhā

Hawaiian Names

  • Haha

Synonyms

  • Delissea acuminata var. angustifolia
  • Delissea angustifolia
  • Delissea honoluluensis
  • Lobelia angustifolia

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Endemic

Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Shrub

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Small, 2 to 6
  • Shrub, Medium, 6 to 10
  • Shrub, Tall, Greater than 10

Mature Size, Width

8 to 10+ feet.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

Although still fairly common in its naturai habitat, this is one of the very few hāhā that may occasionally be seen in cultivation. They are rather easy to grow and maintain in a landscape and can be grown in containers, or as accent or specimen plants in the garden, as long as they are protected from slugs and snails. They do well indoors as potted plants with good lighting. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Colors

  • Light Purple
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • White

Additional Flower Color Information

The inflorescence are arranged in pendent (hanging) displays of 6-25 curved flowers. Purplish berries follow flowering.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

In cultivation, red spider mites can become problematic. Slugs and snails relish hāhā and can girdle a plant in a single night and thus resulting in death of the plant. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Growth Requirements

Fertilizer

Foliar feeding with fish or kelp emulsion monthly or every other month is much appreciated by hāhā. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Pruning Information

None necessary ecept to remove spent leaves, flowers and fruit.

Water Requirements

  • Moist
  • Wet

Additional Water Information

This species seems to prefer moist or wet conditions in cultivation. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soil must be well drained

Yes

Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Full sun in north and east locations; partial sun or some protection needed in south and west locations. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soils

  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Maui

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • Less than 150, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 150 to 1000, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 1000 to 1999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 2000 to 2999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 2000 to 2999, Greater than 100 (Wet)

Additional Habitat Information

This species grows from arounnd 150 to about 2500 feet in mesic forests and valleys to wet forests. Hāhā (Cyanea anugustifolia) is common in the Koʻolau Mountains, Oʻahu but rather scarce in the Waiʻanae Range (Oʻahu), and on eastern Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and northern West Maui.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Hāhā (Cyanea spp.) are members of the in the Bellflower family (Campanulaceae). Cyanea is an endemic genus of some 80 species with new species still being discovered.

Other kin include many endemic species in Brighamia, Clermontia, Delissea, Lobelia, and Trematolobelia--all but Lobelia are endemic genera!

Etymology

The generic name Cyanea is from the Greek, cyaneos, blue, referring to the supposedly blue flowers of the type species, Cyanea grimesiana, which in reality are white or to purplish.

The specific name angustifolia [angustifolius] means "narrow leaved."

Early Hawaiian Use

Leaves of this species (Cyanea angustifolia) as well as ʻakūʻakū (Cyanea platyphylla), now endangered, were wrapped in ti (kī) leaves, cooked in an ʻimu and eaten in times of food scarcity by early Hawaiians. [1,2,3]

Additional References

[1] "Plants in Hawaiian Culture" by Beatrice H. Krauss, pages 16, 323.
[2] "Arts and Crafts of Hawaii" by Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter H. Buck), page 6.

[3] "Plants of Hawaii National Parks" by Otto Degener, page 288.

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