A thank you to frolickauai@Flickr for today’s first-time contribution to Botany Photo of the Day (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Much appreciated! Do investigate frolickauai’s other photographs on Flickr – plenty of plant photographs.
Hibiscus clayi, or Clay’s hibiscus (or Hawaiian red hibiscus), is an extremely rare plant in the wild; as frolickauai notes: “This flower is on one of only four naturally occurring members of Hibiscus clayi in the wild.”. The wild, in this case, is Kaua‘i, Hawaii. Conservation efforts are underway to expand the population beyond the four individuals, and botanical gardens in the area are part of the effort (ref: US Botanical Garden summary). Despite being in a forest reserve, the remaining individuals remain under threat. The profile of Hibiscus clayi on the US Center for Plant Conservation notes that competition with alien plants is the current major problem, although the initial decline was due in large part to cattle grazing (cattle are no longer a threat, though feral pigs are another issue).