Rare native plants among Arbor Day offerings

LIHU‘E — Plants native to Hawai‘i, some considered rare, will be among the plants offered to the community during the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s annual plant sale from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Nov. 4.

The sale, which celebrates Hawai‘i’s Arbor Day started in 1968, will be held at DFW’s Pua Loke Nursery behind the county Department of Water and the Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine facilities.

Local floral enthusiasts and rare plant collectors have an opportunity to add to their collections because DOFAW is offering plants which are federally listed as threatened and endangered, native to Hawai‘i and used for the state’s conservation programs, states a DOFAW release.

Some of the plants listed for this year’s sale include the very rare Hau kuahiwi, Hibiscadelphus distans, identifiable by its small green tubular flower.

The state flower, a yellow hibiscus, Ma‘o hau hele, hibiscus brackenridgei, the endemic lobelia Kaua‘i Delissea, Delissea rhytidosperma, and ‘Ohai, sesbania tomentosa, known for its salmon to scarlet pea-shaped flowers ideal for landscaping and lei-making are other native plants.

Other featured native plants include the white hibiscus Kokio ke‘o ke‘o, Hibiscus waimeae subspecies waimeae, endemic to Waimea valley and prized for its large fragrant white blossoms, the small native fan palm Loulu, Pritchardia minor, which is ideal for any yard, and Alahe‘e, Psydrax odorata, a shrub to small tree indigenous to Hawai‘i and other parts of the Pacific. The canoe plant Noni, Morinda citrifolia, valued for its medicinal qualities, will also be available for purchase along with an assortment of other native plants.

In addition to encouraging the use of native species in home landscaping, the DOFAW will offer two non-invasive exotic ornamentals cherished for their fragrant flowers used in lei making — Pua kenikeni, Fagraea berteronana, and the Tahitian gardenia Tiare, Gardenia taitensis.

This is a great opportunity for kama‘aina to support DOFAW’s programs on Kaua‘i while bringing home plants to cultivate a native garden, a DOFAW spokesperson said.Prices start at $3, depending on species and size.

Call 274-3433 for more information.

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