Tropical Gardening: Earth Day weekend follows Polynesian culture celebration

  • Most of the 26 Pritchardia species are native to Hawaii and should be planted in every home garden, public park and street landscape. Due to pigs and rats eating the seed, they are close to extinction. These specimen at The Club in Kailua are probably not our natives, but most likely Pritchardia pacifica from the South Pacific. They are also worth planting and are common in local plant nurseries. Another South Pacific species is Pritchardia thurstonii now often seen in Hawaiian landscapes. (courtesy photo/Voltaire Moise)

In Hawaii, Earth Day is every day! This year is an amazing one with Easter, Earth Day, the Merry Monarch Festival and the Hawaii Chocolate Festival all happening at this time. What they have in common is that they all relate to the rebirth, renaissance and the evolution of life and culture. Our Hawaiian gardens also represent the continuing influence of many diverse cultures creating a new experience. The earliest gardens were composed of plants Polynesians brought with them from Asia, the vast Pacific and even South America. It is theorized that the first people may have come from Africa to Taiwan and between, thousands of years ago. This mix of ethnicities is extremely complicated and continues to this day as we share our islands.