Monday, April 14, 2014

Makua Kea'au

On March 8, 2014 the Tree Huggers ventured to Makua Kea'au Forest Reserve to collect seeds with the Wai'anae Mountains Watershed Partnership.

The hike was very quick up to a patch of wiliwili trees (Erythrina sandwicensis) where we hunted for tiny orange "Easter eggs" of wiliwili seeds.

The endemic wiliwili had been attacked by a non-native gall wasp but this patch seemed to be doing well post-biocontrol efforts. While we did not get very many seeds, recruitment of seedlings within the patch was fairly prevalent.

Some groups of Tree Huggers helped to collect 'Ilima (Sida falax) seeds, too. 'Ilima is a small shrub in the hibiscus family with small black to brown seeds in little dehiscent capsules.

Unfortunately, the area was covered with an non-native weedy species (Leonitis sp.), potentially shading out a lot of native ground cover and understory species.

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