Greenwell ethnobotanical garden to observe founder’s day

Greenwell ethnobotanical garden to observe founder’s day

Garden to observe founder’s day

Bishop Museum’s native plant arboretum in Captain Cook, the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, will observe the birthday of the garden’s late founder Amy Beatrice Holdsworth Greenwell on Friday, Sept. 7.

Born in 1920, Amy Greenwell was part of the well-known Greenwell family which settled in the Kona area in the mid-1800s. An accomplished native plant expert, she wrote many articles on botany and ethnobotany. Some of her letters and articles will be on display in the Garden’s new visitor center. She was also an acute observer of archaeology and often joined Bishop Museum archaeologists on their field work.

She left the garden property to Bishop Museum on her death in 1974. Admission will be free on Sept. 7 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Birthday cake will be served starting at 12:30 p.m. and a Guided Native Plant Walk will be offered at 1 p.m. An award from the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority funds the Guided Native Plant Walks offered at the garden daily, Tuesday-Sunday. Visitors may take self-guided tours these same days between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The garden is located at 81-6160 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Captain Cook. For more information, call 323-3318 or visit

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in the Hawaiian Plant Walks should contact Peter Van Dyke at 808-323-3318 at least two weeks before their planned visit.

Greenwell ethnobotanical garden to observe founder’s day | Hawaii Tribune Herald

Autograph trees are invading Hawaii’s forests

by Diana Duff

Many gardeners in Hawaii have become native plant enthusiasts. More and more people are awakening to the beauty of our native species and learning about them and the vigilance required to save them from harm or eventual extinction. Events like Arbor Day at Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, offering free native plants and information on growing them, help folks learn ways to grow and care for native plants. Interest in these plants, which have thrived in our native forests for millennia, helps raise awareness of the threats a multitude of invasive species pose to them.

One particularly threatening species, the autograph, or signature, tree (Clusia rosea) caught the notice of Darcy Ames, who has witnessed firsthand the encroachment of this species on the ohia forests near her home.

“When I first bought property in Holualoa, I thought the autograph tree was quite lovely,” Ames said. “After a few years of experience, inspection and investigation, I began to realize this tree was capable of destroying the habitat of our ohia and other native species unless we began a proactive course against it.

“After witnessing the damage it can cause, I can honestly say that I hate what this plant is capable of doing. Autograph seeds can be dropped by birds and root as much as 20 or 30 feet in the air in the crotch of an ohia tree.

$12.8M to help protect lands across Hawaii

Several nonprofit organizations, a state agency and three local counties have been awarded $3.3 million from a state land preservation fund to protect 753 acres on the Big Island, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu.

The money from the Legacy Land Conservation Program will be matched with about $9.5 million from federal, county and private sources to acquire land or protective easements for public benefit.

Seven projects are being financed, including four land purchases totaling 25 acres and three easements covering 728 acres.

Laura Thielen, chairwoman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, said the fund provides an efficient way to protect land containing important natural, cultural or agricultural value. “By providing these grants as incentive, the state is utilizing mostly private and federal funds to protect these resources,” she said in a statement announcing the awards.