Authors: Michael B. Thomas
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Locality: Oahu, Hawaiian Islands (21.306810, -157.656130)

The Makapu‘u Point trail, within Kaiwi State Scenic Shoreline, offers outstanding views of O‘ahu’s southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater. From the trail’s destination at Makapu‘u Head, one is rewarded with magnificent views of the windward coast and offshore islets, as well as the historic red-roofed Makapu‘u Lighthouse built in 1909, which makes a stunning picture against the deep blue sea below (the lighthouse itself is off-limits). On a clear day, you may even see Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. The offshore islets are wildlife sanctuaries for Hawaiian seabirds, such as the ‘iwa, frigate bird, and tropicbird. This trail is an excellent place to view migrating humpback whales in season (November – May). Binoculars are suggested for viewing the whales and seabirds. An interpretive sign and viewing scope along the trail help you view and identify the whales seen from this location.


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Families: 22
Genera: 34
Species: 32 (species rank)
Total Taxa: 36 (including subsp. and var.)
Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L. - western seapurslane
Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f. - West Indian aloe
Senecio sp. - groundsel
Sonchus sp. - sow thistle
Tournefortia argentea L.f. - velvetleaf soldierbush
Casuarina equisetifolia L. - common ironwood
Terminalia catappa L. - Indian almond
Sida fallax Walp. - yellow `ilima
Myoporum sandwicense A.Gray - false sandalwood
Cenchrus echinatus L. - field sandbur
Portulaca oleracea L. - common purslane
Lantana camara L. - nettleleaf shrubverbena