FIRST PERSON: The ‘inseparable bond’ between Hawaiian culture and native plants

The last time a survey was done, by helicopter, just one alula plant was found in the wild which was growing out of a cave overlooking the ocean. So, it’s the last Lone Ranger. 

We think the alula was pollinated by what is probably now an extinct moth species that had a particularly long proboscis allowing it to feed off the nectar and carry pollen from plant to plant.

Today, if we really want to produce seeds from these plants, we have to hand pollinate and that’s what we do here. Ideally, we work with other conservation organizations to replant native species in the wild as resources become available.

‘Inseparable bond’ between plant and culture

I’m interested in native plants like alula because of the inseparable bond between these plants and early Hawaiian culture.

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