Gardenias are such beautiful and sweet smelling flowers, one of my favorite species of gardenia is the Gardenia Jasminoides. Today I want to shed light on a Hawaiian Species which is endangered – the Hawaiian Gardenia (Gardenia brighamii )which is found only in the Hawaiian Islands.
It is a small tree up to 20 feet tall with white fragrant flowers. Sadly only a dozen or so trees are known to be surviving on the islands of O‘ahu and Lana‘i. It was once also found on Maui, Moloka‘i, and the island of Hawai‘i but is believed to be extinct on those islands.
The Hawaiian gardenia is found in dry shrub and forests on the islands of Moloka‘i, O‘ahu, and Lana‘i. All populations of this tree are threatened by alien plant competitors, introduced herbivores, fire and pathogens.
A total of 12 Hawaiian gardenia trees are said to remain in the wild, which are all on private property in case you’re hoping to lay your eyes on one while on a hike or stroll in the forests. The Hawaiian gardenia was listed as an endangered species by the federal government in 1985. There are botanical gardens and rare plant facilities which collect and propagate seed from the Hawaiian gardenia and other rare plants.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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