ʻIhi Portulaca molokiniensis Hobdy


He kini aʻa molo ka ʻihi o Molokini.
The ʻihi of Molokini have many intertwined roots – na Noah Gomes

Endemic to Molokini and Kahoʻolawe, ʻihi is a star, on Molokini, struggling amidst the green grassy slope of alien buffelgrass in rainy season. As with many other rare endemic plants of our pae ʻāina, we seem to find them at the very edges of their former range(s), barely clinging to life (sound familiar?). But mālama them with aloha, and weʻre often surprised with the results. What we thought were nearly extinct, given a little water and more favorable climates, are able to spring back to health.

Botanist extraordinare Bob Hobdy who made Maui his ʻāina aloha, found ʻihi on Molokini.

As Forest Starr shares, “Too bad Bob Hobdy is dead, he would gladly recall the story of finding it, thinking it was different than Portulaca lutea (which previous botanists to Molokini called it), and then describing the (new) species.”