Bloom Spring 2018 - Page 24

Weird & Wonderful Flowers Koki’o This is an extremely rare tree, endemic to Hawaii. It was discovered in 1860, at which time only three specimens could be found. The tree proved difficult to propagate, and by 1950, after the last seedling died, it was deemed extinct. In 1970 a sole survivor was found, which was sadly destroyed in a fire in 1978. Luckily one of the branches of that last remaining tree was saved, and grafted into 23 trees that exist today, all of which are situated in various places in Hawaii. The Kokai is a small tree that grows to about 10-11 meters high. Their most striking feature has to be the hundreds of bright red flowers that mature trees produce annually. Sadly that is a rarity which few will be privileged to see. 22 Bloom | Spring 2018 Kokai cookei