Due to the 58th Presidential Inauguration, the U.S. Botanic Garden will be closed January 18-21, 2017. We will reopen at 10 a.m. on January 22.
Hibiscus waimeae is endemic to Kauai, occurring in two distinct and isolated populations on opposite sides of the island. Though separated by less than 30 miles, these have evolved to have unique flower and leaf characteristics that distinguish them from one another. Because Hibiscus species hybridize readily, the unique characteristics of Hibiscus waimeae are threatened by cross-pollination with non-native Hibiscus varieties that have been introduced to Kauai for ornamental use. By carefully hand-pollinating and isolating flowers of Hibiscus waimeae, conservationists are able to collect, grow and store seeds that have not been cross-pollinated.