Argyroxiphium virescens Hillebr.

Greensword (Argyroxiphium virescens)  

The Greensword was restricted to the eastern slopes of the Haleakala crater on eastern Maui.  

The plant, just like all the other species of the genus, grew as a rosette of numerous long, narrow leaves for several years, until, when finally full-grown, it produced its spectacular inflorescence, just to end up dead.  

The species, when flowering, reached a heigth of about 1,5 m.  

The Greensword disappeared because of the destruction of the vegetation caused by free-running cattle and sheep – the last individual was found in the year 1945.  


There seem to be some plants which may be hybrids of this species and of the Maui Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum (A. Gray) Meyrat), however, their true identity seems to be debatable.  


alleged Hybrid Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense ssp. macrocephalum x virescens)  

Photo: Kim Starr & Forest Starr; by courtesy of Kim Starr & Forest Starr


edited: 06.03.2017