14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
A Silversword in bloom while hiking Haleakala Crater on Maui
Silverswords habitat is at an elevation of 7000 - 10,000 ft in soil composed of volcanic cinders and live between 3 and 90 years as a low, round bush. At the end of their life, they send up a flowering stalk that can grow over 6 feet tall within a few weeks and produce up to 600 flower heads. They only flower once and die soon afterward, scattering drying seeds to the wind.
© Jennifer Smith.
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||Oct. 28, 2016, 10:15 p.m.