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Phoenix roebellini – Pygmy

All Phoenix palms produce stiff, very sharp thorns at the base of their “feather” (pinnate) leaves, and these can be quite dangerous, especially in larger-sized species.

Phoenix palms are dioecious—that is to say that a plant is either a male or a female, producing only staminate (pollen-producing) flowers on the male, and only pistillate (ovary-producing) flowers on the female plant.

Therefore, at least two Phoenix palms (of opposite sexes) must be within pollinating distance (a couple hundred yards at most) for fruit to develop. Bees can be seen occasionally visiting the open flowers, but wind can also carry pollen from one tree to another.

The fruit of the Pygmy Date Palm is dark purple and only about half an inch long by 1/8 inch in diameter at maturity, so it is not eaten—at least by people. When the plants are young, they are quite densely and symmetrically covered with dark-green fine-textured leaves (that conceal the sharp thorns at the leaf bases) and are rather attractive in appearance. They are also tolerant of relatively low light intensities such as those found in shopping malls, and are thus frequently utilized in the plant interiorscaping industry. The stubby bumps found on the trunks of older plants are the more-woody, rot-resistant portions of the old, long-dead leaves.

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

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Roystonia regia – Royal Palm

The Royal Palm was named after a man named Roy Stone. Part of its natural range includes southeastern Florida. This is one of the larger members of the Palm Family, and can attain a height of over 100 feet. The trees grow rapidly from seeds and can reach a height of over 20 feet in 5 years, with a clear trunk more than a foot in diameter and 5 feet in height in a good site location. It is a self-cleaning palm, and you do not want to be beneath one when a leaf falls, because a single leaf can weigh over 100 pounds. The leaf sheath is large enough to completely surround a 6 foot tall standing person, like a hotdog in a bun.

The Royal Palm produces a large cluster of creamy white flowers, called an inflorescence, can consist of over 50,000 flowers. It develops inside a tubular structure called a spadix, which falls off the inflorescence when the developing flowers are ready to open. A blooming inflorescence attracts hundreds of bees, and covers the ground beneath the tree with fallen flowers for several days. After flowering ends, many thousands of small dark red-purple fruits develop, falling to the ground at maturity, where many of them are eaten by birds and feral pigs.

 

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

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Araucaria columnaris – Cook “Pine” Tree

These tall, distinctive trees are from the Cook Islands in the Southern Hemisphere. They are easily confused with the Norfolk Island Pine, which is more pyramidal in shape and has wider branch spacing than the Cook Pine. They are “softwood”/Gymnosperm type trees and they do produce “cones” so are therefore in the same category as are the true pine trees, but they are certainly not pine trees. The 4 to 5 inch long brown male cones are borne mostly on branch tips found on the bottom half of the tree and are produced during the spring months.

Nurseries on the mainland grow many thousands of pots of Cook Pine Trees, mostly for sale around Christmas time as miniature living Christmas trees. Much of the seed used to grow those trees is collected by commercial seed collectors from trees growing in Hawaii, and the price per seed ranges from around 20 to 40 cents each, depending on quantities purchased.

The 5 to 6 inch globose, green female cones are produced from branch tips in the upper half of the tree. They start forming in the late winter months and are about the size of a tennis ball when the male cones are shedding pollen in mid-spring. After pollination they continue to enlarge until mid to late summer when the cone scales—each with their attached seed—mature and begin to fall off the cone stem to the ground. If they don’t lodge in moist soil they dry out and die within a few days. If they do land in a friendly place, they will sprout within a week or two. Significant numbers of the 4-cotyledoned seedlings are albino—white in color—and die a few weeks after sprouting.

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

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Syzygium malaccense. ‘Ohi’a’ai

This tree is a Canoe Plant, being admired for its fruit, which is a bit like a non-gritty, firm, but juicy pear, but with a skin ranging in color from white to pink to rose-red to deep red-purple. The flowers are composed mostly of very bright, inch long, magenta-colored stamens, which, when they fall in only a few days from floral opening, cover the ground beneath the plant with a tapestry of pink for a day or two. It only takes about 2 months for the fruits to mature and ripen on the tree. Birds are quick to find them, and rats quickly devour them when they fall from the tree, so it is sometimes difficult to find a choice fruit to eat.

Trees may bloom several times during the warm season, and different trees seem to have different bloom cycles from others, so it is possible to be successful in a hunt for fruits during most of the warm season if one is persistent.

Since they sprout easily from seed, they are found in nearly every gulch on the wet side of the Island, and their fruit color and quality differ from tree to tree. Mountain Apple is also a local brand name for certain grocery items.

 

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

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Psydrax odorata – Alahe’e

Also known as Ohe’e, it is indigenous to all the main Hawaiian Islands. Early Hawaiians valued it for its hard wood, which was made into spears, often used to capture octopus (Alahe’e means slippery like an octopus or squid.). The wood was also used to make certain tools like a pry-bar (‘o’o) or an “adz” for cutting softer woods like Hau or Kukui. Its fragrant flowers and glossy foliage likely led to its usage in lei making.

The Alahe’e plant grows into a medium-large shrub to small tree and is very tolerant of a wide range of moisture and soil types, growing from near sea level to almost 4,000 feet mauka, making it a useful landscape plant for sunny sites.

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

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Ilima: Sida fallax. – Ilima

In old Hawaii, this native flower was used to make lei ‘ilima (the royal lei) for the alii, either for the head or for the neck—requiring 1,000 flowers. This lei very much resembled the yellow feather lei made from feathers of the ‘o’o and worn only by royalty. Because it took so many flowers to make one lei, ilima plants were probably the only plants cultivated by the early Hawaiians exclusively for their flowers.

In 1926 the Territorial legislature chose ‘Ilima as the official flower of the island of O’ahu. The flowers open in the early morning, and wither and close in the evening. The flowers are edible and may be used as a garnish, being either slightly sweet or tasteless. Lei are still made today with ilima flowers either mixed with other flowers or by themselves.

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

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Styphelia tameiameiae

An indigenous plant that also occurs in the Marquesas Islands, pukiawe is familiar to hikers in the national parks. It’s a tough, stiff, small-leaved shrub whose small red or pink berries brighten the trailside. Quite variable in form, these plants occur naturally from two thousand feet elevation to the mountain summits, thriving on arid lava as well as forest and bog.

Hawaiians added pukiawe to their lei for the extra color. If a kapu chief wanted to dispense with the rules that separated him from common people, he would use the incense of burning pukiawe as a spiritual fumigation. The wood was used to cremate the bodies of outlaws.

Experience all the beauty of Hawai’i at Botanical World… 

Botanical World Adventures                          Gardens, Waterfalls & Maze

31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway                    Open daily – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Hakalau, Hawaii 96710                                    Have you Visited us in the Past?

Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19                       Why not Write a review?

 

For 24/7 Online Reservations Book your tour HERE

Or call: 808-963-5427 or Toll Free: 888-947-4753

Visit us at BotanicalWorld.com