Alula (Brighamia insignis) - stock photo
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Alula (Brighamia insignis)

Alula (Brighamia insignis), Kilauea NWR, Kaua'i, Hawaii. This plant's white to yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers resemble mainland flowers that are pollinated by Sphinx Moths, but no one has ever seen a Sphinx Moth visit an Alula flower. The Alula's primary pollinator may be extinct, or so rare that it is unlikely to ever find an Alula plant. Nearly eliminated from all but the steepest sea cliffs, this species was rescued from extinction when biologists rappelled down steep cliffs where the last of the plants grew and became 'surrogate pollinators' using small brushes to transfer pollen from one plant to another.

Science Source / Craig K. Lorenz

4500 x 3000 pixels

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15 x 10 inches / 38 x 25 cm

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