On December 1, we picked up a collection of palm seedlings from Montgomery Botanical Center (Coral Gables, FL). These included the following: Prestoea acuminate: seed collected in Trinidad, Pritchardia aylmer-robinsonii: collected on Maui, near Hana, Pritchardia glabrata: collected on Maui, at Kahanu Gardens, and Pritchardia elliptica: collected on the Island of Lanai.
It’s interesting that with the Pritchardia palms, there are approximately 19 native species in the Hawaiian Islands. Many of these are endangered, rare or vulnerable. Each Island has at least one distinct species or a variety (example: Pritchardia affinis var. gracilis and Pritchardia affinis var. halophila). So you might ask “What’s with the variety?” Pritchardia affinis is only found on the Big Island (the one with the active volcano). However, the geography of an Island can dictate the evolution of a species. Some of these palms may have become isolated in a valley, or on a mountain. They’re all very close (genetically) to the same, but, there are a few subtle differences (again genetically) to warrant a different variety, but not a different species.
Construction is moving rapidly. In fact, along the West edge of the garden, a privacy wall has been put up and the planting of buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus) has begun! In addition, the front entrance along Thomasson Drive has been revamped by the NBG team. The following shrubs have been added: Ixora ‘Red Maui’, Ixora ‘Yellow Maui’ and Ixora ‘Dwarf Red’. Other plant additions included Ilex cornuta 'Carissa', flax lily (Phormium spp.), green island fig (Ficus microcarpa) and a small leaf clusia.
In front of the large Garden sign, we’ve removed the caladiums (which had done very well) and replaced them with yellow lantana.