Caly is one of the last remaining individuals of a Hawaiian plant (Cyanea calycina) that occurs nowhere else in the world. This page is a real-time window into her life and remote Hawaiian native forests most cannot reach.

Live images

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Please check the desktop version of our site for live interactive graphs of Caly's growth and so much more.

 Landscape view
Caly view
Caly's past few days
Caly's past few months

Time lapses

Caly's real-time growth in relation to its environment

The graph below shows real-time growth of Caly's stem diameter (blue line) along with simultaneously collected environmental data (red line). Select different environmental variables from the drop-down menu. More real-time graphs are available in the Live science page.

Caly's recent updates

September 12, 2019

Hot and dry summer periods can be particularly challenging for plants to endure. Comparing the recent late summer period (8/1 and 9/9) between this versus last year,  it is clear conditions at the top of the Waianae range have been very toasty. On average, this year's late summer period has been 2.2C (4F) warmer than last year's (20.3C vs 22.5C, 2018 vs 2019 respectively).

It has also been drier this summer with a thi...

June 25, 2019

This year’s flower bloom was short and intense… Check the image below for the entire animation! Compare it with last year's bloom when I clearly was still recovering from the nearby tree fall. 

I was not the only Cyanea or native plant in flower around here! The nearby Cyanea grimesiana and the Cyanea membranacea (that is also being monitored) are also putting quite a show!

 Cyanea grimesiana

 Cyanea membranacea

How incredible wou...

June 20, 2019

Despite the very dry spring, I am now in full flower! This year, I am joined in flowering by a few of my keiki stems that have been growing vigorously since last year when the forest canopy fell on me -I mean- opened up quite a bit…

 1 week before flower bloom

Current image from live camera showing bloom

Unfortunately, like many other rare Hawaiian lobelioids, I rely on also rare native forest birds to pollinate my flowers… Becau...

April 29, 2019

As my flowers prepare to bloom soon, one challenge that me and other plants up here have had to cope with is a relatively dry spring, particularly in comparison to last year. In fact, the soil moisture sensor directly next to me shows the driest readings since beginning of monitoring in November 2017.

Look at the graphs below and compare three soil moisture readings from across our study site (near me, near a Cyanea membranacea...

March 29, 2019

Flower season is approaching! This year, following robust growth by my keiki over the last few months, several of my stems are developing flower buds!

Can’t wait to see who will come and visit!

 Not to brag, but this is one healthy canopy!

March 14, 2019

Last week, we visited Caly and the monitoring system do some repairs and maintenance. As usual, the scenery eclipsed time on the climb up the mountain to where Caly lives.

 Photo credit: Elyse Butler

When we arrived, we got to work at the base station, where precision instruments measure environmental conditions and growth of native plants, allowing us to better understand how this ecosystem functions.

Photo credit...

February 15, 2019

Last Saturday night (2/10) as Honolulu suffered with temperatures dropping to 64F (the Hawaiian “coolmageddon”), a few miles away temperatures at the ridge directly above me dropped to below 50F.

However, for those concerned about me and the bitter Hawaiian cold, don’t be as I am protected in the gulch below from the worst of it. Based on the data collected so far, temperatures vary widely between where I am and on the exposed...

February 8, 2019

The time lapses and live climate data that illustrate my life on top of a mountain sometimes fail to show the extreme weather native plants like me endure...

The video above (taken by wet and cold humans) gives an example of a gusty and rainy day when I lost several leaves due to wind damage.

 In many cases, extreme weather can make conservation efforts challenging. A recent review of over 500 studies that evaluated ecologi...

January 18, 2019

If you answered they are both from Hawaii, sorry but pineapples are from South America!

Ok, another clue: What do Caly, pineapples and spiral galaxies have in common?

…The answer is that they all exhibit a geometric pattern called a golden spiral (or Fibonacci spiral). For plants, what is special about this arrangement is that it leads to efficient packing of seeds as seen in pine cones and florets in sunflowers.

The ot...

December 20, 2018

Behold the human laulau (a.k.a. Ryan Mudd) adjusting camera settings while hiding from the powerful glaring sun on Caly's ridge.

But in all seriousness, it takes a lot to design, build, deploy and maintain all of these sensors in the forest that keep me connected to my new friends from all over the world. Without the technical and ecological expertise from Ryan, I would still be using myspace instead...


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plantCam is a collaboration between USGS, PICCC, University of Hawaiʻi, US FWS, Hawaiʻi DLNR