Tag Archives: Wiliwili

Wiliwili tree

Wiliwili tree flowers in Hawaii
Wiliwili tree flowers in Hawaii
Wiliwili tree flowers in Hawaii

A week ago, I posted (here) about a Wiliwili tree flowering at the foot of Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a. Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) is endemic to Hawaii and grows in dry forests on the leeward side of the island. Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a is one such place. While I’ve hiked here several times before, this is the first time I’ve seen a Wiliwili flowering.

Wiliwili is unusual for an Hawaiian tree in that it’s deciduous, dropping it’s leaves during summer droughts. It’s pollinated by birds, but on this day bees were the primary visitors.

Wiliwili seeds are easy to germinate and grow but, like many Hawaiian plants, it has been in decline, losing out to more robust non-native plants and to herbivores. The arrival in Hawaii of a a gall wasp, Quadrastichus erythrinae, greatly exacerbated the situation. However, biocontrol responses have been effective and the situation has been stabilized.

Wiliwili tree flowers in Hawaii