Synonyms: Wilkesia grayana
Other names: Hana Forest Silversword
Argyroxiphium grayanum, commonly known as the greensword, is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, and a member of the silversword alliance, a group of over 50 species which are diverse in morphology and habitat but are genetically closely related.
The silversword alliance provides a convincing natural case study in evolution by adaptive radiation, with the greensword representing one extreme of the genus' plasticity. Some Argyroxiphium, including the well-known Haleakala and Mauna Kea silverswords, live in harsh alpine desert-like conditions of heat, sun, wind, and aridity, and are drought-adapted plants capable of storing water as a gel in leaf structures which are normally air pockets in other plants. However, A. grayanum is a bog plant adapted to very different conditions – excessive moisture, lack of regular sunlight, and cool temperatures, and its leaves are non-succulent like those of the related genus Dubautia. [Wikipedia]
Images: Forest Starr & Kim Starr, CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0