The Haleakala silversword, also known as ahinahina (“gray” in Hawaiian), is a striking plant with or without flowers. For most of its life, ahinahina resembles a bouquet of swords, with silver, spikey, succulent leaves growing densely at ground level. As a silversword plant reaches maturation, which can occur anytime within three to 90 years, it sends out a long, flowering stalk covered in hundreds of vibrant purple flowers. After the flowers dry out, the silversword also dries out and dies, leaving several thousand seeds to scatter in the wind — at Haleakala Volcano Summit, 10,023 ft.
From Magic of Maui