In a 1971 Hawai’i Tribune Herald article, Kaichi Nishimoto
remembered his 1921 trip to the Wailuku Gulch (or perhaps the Waipahoehoe
Gulch) to gather silverswords. Article states "Nishimoto has
recalled that silverswords were very plentiful during those early
days as they grew on flats and steep banks. "There must have
been thousands of plants," Nishimoto told [state forester]
"On the way down [from Lake Waiau] we stop to see a few patches
of silversword. There are only a few remaining of this strange looking
plant on Mauna Kea." L. W. Bryan, Territorial Forester
west slope: "only dead plants observed." (Skottsberg)
northwest slope: many dead stalks of silverswords were seen (Hartt
and Neal, 1940)
Mr. Higashi said that he saw a dozen silverswords in the gulch near
the adze quarry. He pulled one plant with multiple rosettes off
the cliff wall.
“The only plant of Argyroxiphium sandwicense was growing upon
a rocky shelf in a position well protected from grazing animals..."
[Hartt and Neal]
"State forester Ernest Pung of Hilo says there are about 100
plants on Mauna Kea; about 30 or 40 of them full-sized. Others younger
A .9 hectare enclosure was built to keep out sheep, study revegetation
and plant silversword. Achenes were collected from three silversword
plants in 1973. Two greenhouse grown plants were planted in enclosure.
One survived. In Dec. 1973, 46 plants were planted. All died during
silversword seed germinated and plants were greenhouse grown at
Volcanoes National Park. More successful. All ten plants planted
survived to date (1976)
20-hectare exclosure built at Waipahoehoe gulch, protecting 20 plants.
Mouflon sheep entered exclosure site. 275 plants planted, half destroyed
DLNR reported that between 150 to 200 silverswords had been reestablished
Waipahoehoe Gulch: "only 35 plants were counted in 1978."
50 plants planted in two 2-hectare exclosures built on west slope
near Pu‘u Nanaha (9086 feet) and near Skyline jeep trail (9742
Efforts to propagate and outplant resulted in 34 % survival.
Hale Pohaku area, 7 silverswords