Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum

Hawai'i Silversword

FWS Focus


Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum (Asteraceae) is a distinctive, globe-shaped rosette plant, with a dense covering of silver hairs. Usually single-stemmed, its sword-like, rigid, and succulent leaves are 15 to 40 cm (5.9 to 15.8 in) long, 5 to 15 mm (0.2 to 0.6 in) wide at the middle, usually three-angled in cross-section, and progressively erect to decumbent. The inflorescence grows 0.5 to 3.0 m (1.6 to 9.8 ft) tall and contains numerous flower heads. These are showy with 50 to 600 densely packed, pink to wine-red flowers. Each flower is 5 to 23 mm (0.2 to 0.9 in) across. There are 11 to 42 petal-like ray florets and 50 to 600 minute disk florets per head. The fruits are dry and one-seeded, straight or curved like a bow, and 7 to 15 mm (0.3 to 0.6 in) long.

Scientific Name

Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum
Common Name
Hawai'i silversword
Haleakala silversword
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Identification Numbers



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