Cyanea pinnatifida

Common Names:
haha, shark-tail cyanea
(Cham.) F. Wimmer
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Nellie Sugii
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Harold L. Lyon Arboretum

The conservation of Cyanea pinnatifida is fully sponsored.
Nellie Sugii contributed to this Plant Profile.


Cyanea pinnatifida was first collected by Chamisso, the botanist on the Russian exploring expedition which visited Hawai`i in 1816-1817. It grows in the Wai`anae Mountains on the island of O`ahu and has apparently been a rare species for a very long time, as only a few collections have been ever made. For a number of years, only one plant was known in the wild, growing in a preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy. In 1998 it was seen in flower but seed was never found on this plant. Unfortunately, in August 2001 this individuals died. Currently, this species is found only at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum and the National Tropical Botanical Garden, where individuals plants propagated from the now dead wild individual plant are housed. (USFWS 2002)

Cyanea pinnatifida is a shrub that grows up to 10 feet in height and has long, deeply lobed leaves with 2 to 6 lobes on each side of the leaf. The only other member of the Cyanea genus on the island of Oahu has leaves with 9 to 12 lobes per side. Out of the axils of these leaves arise clusters of 8 to 15 greenish-white flowers with purple stripes. (Wagner et al. 1999) In 1995 the first plant to be seen flowering in 30 years bloomed in a greenhouse at the Lyon Arboretum. This success was the result of a collaborative effort between many people and institutions in Hawaii.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research