A drone helped in discovering a flower that was considered as extinct in a valley

Back in 1991, the botanists from National Tropical Botanical Garden discovered a rare and beautiful flower named Hibiscadelphus woodii, which is a native flower and relative of Hibiscus family. The plant was found in the Kalalau Valley in Kauai Island. In the year 2016, the same flower was classified as extinct.

This vibrant flower was alive till 2009, but recently there are no signs of it. Earlier this year the NTBG made a discovery while using the drone in a very remote part of steep cliffs of Kalalau Valley. They found that H. Woodii is growing again. This study was led by drone specialist and GIS coordinator Ben Nyberg. He has revealed that there are three individuals of this rare plant that are growing in a small cluster on the cliff face. Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has issued this team a grant specifically to rediscover the species.

Flower

KEN WOOD/NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

The still photos of one individual were captured by Drone in January 2019 and the other two individuals were found in late February.

  1. woodii grows as a small tree and produces vivid yellow flowers which are known to turn into brown color as they age. According to Nyberg, this genus is very rare. The botanists at NTBG have discovered 11 new plant species in this cliff region over the past decades.

In an interview with National Geographic Kenneth R Wood, the biologist from NTBG has stated that this Kalalau cliff in Hawaii consists of various kinds of species. Scientists tried to propagate the H. woodii with different methods before finding this flower, but there was no luck. Now with the help of a drone, they are able to find the rare flower. Nyberg stated that they would try to keep this flower alive again.