Brighamia insignis also known as alula to the Hawaiian islanders where it is an endemic plant of scrublands on the islands of Kaua'i and Niihau is also called Cabbage on a Stick or the Hawaiian Pine. In the wild there are said to be 65 plants and natural reproduction has finished due to the disappearance of their sole pollinator which is an unknown sphingid moth with an extraordinarily long tongue (probably itself extinct) which can reach the base of the lengthy calyx. All but one population, consisting of a single plant, is currently known in the wild on Kaua`i (Ken Wood, pers. comm. June 2007).
Dutch horticulturalists have produced clones from root meristems and dispersed them worldwide hoping that someone can produce seeds. The above flowers , wich have rarely been reported on these plants were photographed last week on a single plant in Cyprus.
It is highly unlikely that the plants are self fertile - we will report the success of the human replacement of the essential moth , by a lady armed with a scalpel and a paint brush.
See -Gemmill,C. E. C., T. A. Ranker, D. Ragone, S. P. Perlman, K. R.Wood. 1998. Conservation genetics of the endangered endemic Hawaiian genus Brighamia. American Journal of Botany 85(4): 528-539.)