In the 2012 President's Budget Request, the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) is terminated. As a result, all resources, databases, tools, and applications within this web site will be removed on January 15, 2012. For more information, please refer to the NBII Program Termination page.
Animals and Plants of Hawaii and the Pacific Basin
Lobelias in the understory of a native Hawaiian wet forest, Puu Kukui, Maui. Image: Elizabeth Speith (Public Domain)
Hawaii, due to its geographic isolation and diverse ecosystems, supports one of the most unique assemblages of native plants and animals in the world. Over 90% of the native flowering plants and nearly 99.9% of native invertebrates in Hawaii are endemic, or found nowhere else in the world. The island archipelago is a an unparalleled example of the evolutionary process in action, surpassing even the Galapagos in the adaptive radiation of its native biota.
ohia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) [Image: Forest & Kim Starr, Public Domain]
ohia lehua Metrosideros polymorpha
Description: Native to the Hawaiian Islands, ohia lehua can grow up to 100 feet tall. It is easily identifiable by its beautiful flowers that can be red, yellow, pink, white or orange. This tree is an important part of wet native forests, but are threatened by ficus and other invasive species. The Hawaiians traditionally used this tree for house posts, kapa dyes and flower lei.
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