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Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum
The Haleakala silversword is a remarkable plant that grows on the highest reaches of this extinct volcano. It is named for its leaves covered with shiny hairs. Not only do these hairs insulate the leaves in the harsh temperature, but they reflect sunlight. The structure of the plant and its leaves focuses the reflected sunlight to the center where the tender shoot tip needs to stay warm. The convergence of light can raise the temperature 36 degrees F (20 degrees C) above the surrounding environment. This plant can live longer than 50 years, and only flowers once in its life.
These plants grow on the barren cinder slopes of Haleakala. This one was at an altitude of around 10,000 feet. It is very windy and cold, but there are clouds providing moisture.
I saw several dead plants that had flowered, many live plants, and one or two small plants sending up flower stalks.