Grimes' Cyanea / Center For Plant Conservation
Search / Plant Profile / Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae
Plant Profile

Grimes' Cyanea (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae)

These particular individuals were grown from tissue culture work at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum for ex situ conservation efforts. Photo Credit: Winifred Singeo
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Campanulaceae
  • State: HI
  • Nature Serve ID: 135990
  • Lifeform: Shrub
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/09/1992

Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obate was collected in 1965 by John K. Obata, but not named until 1978 by Harold St. John. When the species was listed as Federally Endangered in 1994, all known populations (totaling only 18 plants at most) were located on privately owned land. (USFWS 1994) This member of the bellflower family is generally an unbranched shrub that grows to a height of up to 10.5 feet (3.2 meters). Its stem and deeply lobed leaves are covered with tiny prickles. Flowers up to 3 in (8 cm) long grow in small clusters in leaf axils. Individual flowers range in color from purplish or greenish to yellow-white, often with magenta colored stripes or tinting. Fruits are oval shaped, orange berries slightly over an inch long.

Where is Grimes' Cyanea (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae) located in the wild?


Steep, moist, shady slopes in medium to wet forests at elevations between 1,800 to 2,200 ft (550 - 670 m). (USFWS 1994)Associated plants include both native and introduced species such as Pipturus albidus, Charpentiera sp., Claoxylon sandwicense, Pisonia sp., Acacia koa, Aleurites moluccana, Cyanea membranacea and various ferns. (USFWS 1994)


Grows only in the Waianae Mountain Range on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

States & Provinces:

Grimes' Cyanea can be found in Hawaii

Which CPC Partners conserve Grimes' Cyanea (Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

  • 09/07/2020
  • Tissue Culture

Tissue culture work is being done at the Lyon Arboretum on Oahu

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to the southern Waianae Mountains, Oahu. The taxon is currently known from 3 occurrences with a total of fewer than 20 plants. The number of plants has declined precipitously in the last 25 years. The most serious threat to this taxon is competition from alien plants. Another threat is posed by feral pigs, which can directly harm the plants and contribute to the degradation of the taxon's habitat.

Winnie Singeo
  • 01/01/2010

As stated by the USFWS in 1994 when the plant was officially listed as Endangered, threat to the species include: Competition from alien (weedy) plants Predation of seeds or fruits by introduced slugs Feral pigs that degrade habitat Random extinct

Winnie Singeo
  • 01/01/2010

Only 5 plants from a single population are known. There may be as many as 13 plants in two other populations; however, these populations have not been seen in the last 15 years. (USFWS 1994)

Winnie Singeo
  • 01/01/2010

Tissue culture work is being done at the Lyon Arboretum on Oahu. (Sugii 2001)

Winnie Singeo
  • 01/01/2010

There are currently no live plants growing at the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. In April, 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)

Winnie Singeo
  • 01/01/2010

Information on susceptibility to diseases and pests. Symbiotic relationships, if any. Soil and water relationship information.

Winnie Singeo
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation and plant maintenance information.


Be the first to post an update!

Taxon Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae
Authority (H. St. John) Lammers
Family Campanulaceae
CPC Number 7603
ITIS 523924
Duration Perennial
Common Names haha | splitleaf cyanea
Associated Scientific Names Cyanea grimesiana ssp. obatae | Cyanea grimesiana var. hirsutifolia | Cyanea grimesiana var. obovata | Delissea grimesiana var. obatae | Delissea grimesiana var. hirsutifolia | Cyanea grimesiana var. obatae
Distribution Grows only in the Waianae Mountain Range on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
State Rank
State State Rank
Hawaii S1
Ecological Relationships

Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting
Oahu Army Natural Resources Program Hawaii Reinforcement 2003
Oahu Army Natural Resources Program Hawaii Reinforcement 2003
Oahu Army Natural Resources Program Hawaii Reinforcement 2004
Oahu Army Natural Resources Program Hawaii Reintroduction 2006
Oahu Army Natural Resources Program Hawaii Reintroduction 2014

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

CPC secures rare plants for future generations by coordinating on-the-ground conservation and training the next generation of plant conservation professionals. Donate today to help save rare plants from extinction.

Donate Today