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« Leyfdu Ljosinu | Main | Habitats in Hawai'i »

First Come, First Served

A lava flow can be a tough place to grow. The good news is that there is not a lot of competition from other plants to colonize one of these dry, barren sites. The plant shown above, Dubautia scabra (DC) D.D. Keck or "kÅ«paua", is a specialist at this. The tiny airborne seeds of this species settle into cracks in the lava where nutrients and water collect. It grows and flowers as soon as it can to produce more seeds, to colonize more cracks in the lava, and ultimately create habitats amenable to other plant species. An important, and beautiful, player in primary succession on Hawai'i.  

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