|Kīlauea resumed its eruption Thursday afternoon after an earthquake swarm. USGS Photo|
KILAUEA IS ERUPTING, following more than 100 earthquakes on Thursday. At approximately 4:34 p.m. on Jan. 5, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory detected glow in Kīlauea summit webcam images indicating that the eruption has resumed within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park reported that fountaining lava is visible from several areas and overlooks around the caldera. Planning to visit? The Park recommends checking out the eruption viewing web page:https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/eruption-viewing.htm.
Ranger tips include:
- Be prepared for crowds
- Parking may be limited
- Pack layers, it can be cold and rainy
- Be respectful to this sacred cultural landscape
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory elevated Kīlauea’s volcano alert level from WATCH to WARNING on Thursday and its aviation color code from ORANGE to RED as this eruption and associated hazards are evaluated.
USGS reports: "The opening phases of eruptions are dynamic. Webcam imagery shows fissures at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater generating lava flows on the surface of the crater floor. The activity is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu and the hazards will be reassessed as the eruption progresses. HVO will continue to monitor this activity closely and report any significant changes in future notices. HVO is in constant communication with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as this situation evolves. The activity is confined entirely within the park."
HINAHINA IS THE NOVEMBER PLANT OF THE MONTH for the column Lāʻau Letters: Native Plants of Kaʻū by Jodie Rosam with illustration by Joan Yoshioka. Hinahina's scientific name is Heliotropium anomalum var. argenteum.
|Hinahina illustration by Joan Yoshioka|
Uses: Medicinally, hinahina leaves can be used to make a tea which acts as a tonic, much like the more commonly seen koʻokoʻolau tea. However, being rare on Hawaiʻi Island, harvesting leaves for tea is not recommended without having intimate knowledge of the population’s dynamics. The hardy silver leaves and sweet smelling flower spikes make a gorgeous haku lei. In 1923, hinahina was adopted as the official flower and lei material for Kahoʻolawe. Unfortunately, due to the desecration of the island by both introduced ungulates and military occupation, hinahina is not found naturally on Kahoʻolawe today.
Habitat: Hinahina can be found in sandy areas, and is locally common on Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Molokaʻi, and rare on Maui and Hawaiʻi Island. It grows along the coast across dry landscapes (0-50 inches of rainfall annually), though given the proper growing conditions, hinahina could grow more mauka. In Kaʻū, hinahina can be admired along the sandy coastlines of Waiʻōhinu, though it is currently being threatened by excessive off-road traffic (ATVs).
|Hinahina. Photo from CTHAR|
Growing and Purchasing: Hinahina will grow from its tiny seeds, but propagation from cuttings is often more successful, even without using a rooting hormone. To collect seeds, it might be helpful to place a fine mesh bag around pollinated flower clusters to catch the seeds as they ripen. Dry the seeds and then sprinkle them on top of a well-drained media (perlite and vermiculite work well) and keep the pots moist and in the shade until they germinate, which takes 2-3 months. Cuttings should be obtained from small (3-5 inches) sections of softwood, and immediately placed into the well-drained media and placed in the shade (although, again, I do not encourage collecting from our rare populations, so if you are interested in hinahina cuttings, please contact the author). Keep them moist, and they should root within a few weeks. Begin to harden your hinahina as they get about 6 inches in height. Find an area with full sun (at least 6 hours a day) and excellent drainage, and amend the soil with sand, cinder, or coral as necessary (think natural environmental conditions). Hinahina will benefit from an occasional salt water drench (but be mindful of other plants that are not salt tolerant). Resist the temptation to overwater, which will make them grow a bit more leggy and less silvery. Hinahina is drought, heat, salt, and wind tolerant, and will be a showcase wherever it’s planted. I wish you a happy, healthy, hinahina loving 2023!