This beautiful plant is called a Haleakala Silversword, it grows exclusively on the slopes and crater of Haleakala Volcano in Hawaii. This endangered species grows for up to 50 years in one of the harshest environments in the world. The plants life cycle ends with a single flowering of big maroon flowers.
My first excursion to Hawaii was devoid of any flowering specimens. The only thing I ran into were the corpses of long dead plants. I was more than a little disappointed by this.
On my second trip however, I was fortunate enough to come across dozens of them flowering. Coming to the realization that I was one of a few to see these plants, in full bloom after their ~50 year lifespan, really blew my mind. It got me thinking that if I hadn’t taken a chance and visited a second time, I would have missed this rare and beautiful sight.
Taking a chance is often rewarded with unexpected and unusual delights.