Brighamia insignis

Common Names:
alula, 'olulu, pu aupaka
A. Gray
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
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:
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Chicago Botanical Garden
San Diego Zoo Global

The conservation of Brighamia insignis is fully sponsored.


There are two threatened Brighamia species that are endemic to Hawaii (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] 2001). Current levels of wild seed production and regeneration are not thought to be sufficient enough to sustain wild populations. Poor seedling establishment due to competition with alien grasses is thought to be a contributing factor. The flower structure appears to favor outcrossing (pollination between different parent plants), however little pollination has been observed in wild populations. Some vegetative regeneration has been observed (USFWS 2000).

The number of populations and individuals are rapidly declining. Historically wild populations have been lost from Ni`ihau and Kaua`i. In 2000, USFWS reported five populations totaling 45 to 65 individuals (USFWS 2000). In one year, only 20 individuals in four populations were recorded (USFWS 2001).

This member of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae) is a potentially branched plant with a succulent stem that is bulbous at the bottom and tapers toward the top, ending in a compact rosette of fleshy leaves (USFWS 2000). It has clusters of fragrant yellow flowers in groups of three to eight in the leaf axils. Petals are fused into a tube 7 to 14 centimeters (3 to 6 in) long. The fruit is a capsule 13 to 19 millimeters (0.5 to 0.7 in) long, which contains numerous seeds. This short-lived perennial species is a member of a unique endemic Hawaiian genus with only one other species (USFWS 1995).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research