The first week of the fall semester, my biology 101 students at UH West O’ahu planted cuttings of three plant species native to Hawai’i: ‘ākulikuli (Sesuvium portulacastrum), pohuehue (Ipomea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis), and pohinahina (Vivax rotundifolia). The students have cared for these plants at home for the past two months, and today returned the plants in preparation for our dune restoration at Piliokahe Beach later this month.
The ‘ākulikuli had the best survivorship, with all 6 of the plants still intact. The pohuehue had 90% survivorship (9/10), and the pohinahina struggled the most, with 50% survivorship (5/10), giving us an overall success rate of 20/26 or about 73%.
The plants that survived are doing very well. The ‘ākulikuli had an average increase of 5 cm in height and 80 leaves! The pohinahina increased by an average of 6 cm in height and 17 leaves. And the pohuehue increased by an average of 21 cm in height and 9 leaves. More important than the averages, every single plant showed increases in both height and leaf number, indicating that they are all in good shape! Shown below are all the plants, and some of the particularly successful ones with their caretakers. Bruce will come by to pick up the plants next week – he will check them and (if needed) treat them for pathogens and pests before our planting at Piliokahe on November 19th.