Volcano Rare Plant Facility – FY 2006 Report
A. Research: Develop protocols for propagation and production of endangered plant species
B. Propagation of rare or endangered plant taxa to prevent extinction and maintain genetic diversity. This includes coordinating with different agencies for outplanting species for habitat restoration.
VRPF works with a large number of rare species and consistently receive taxa for which protocols for propagation or production are not yet established. Because these species are derived from many different habitat types, treatments have to be specifically tailored for each type. Research of this kind takes up a large portion of staff time. Some aspects of this work include: developing germination treatments, studying growth habit, trials of pesticides and fertilizers, soil testing of native soils to aid in formulating media, and fertilizers that are appropriate for plants from diverse Big Island habitats. In the past fiscal year, VRPF received 204 new plant accessions.
A total of 3117 plants representing 44 threatened or endangered species were produced for restoration projects on the Big Island. The species included: 3 Anoectochilus sandvicensis, 525 Argyroxiphium kauense, 250 Argyroxiphium sandwicense, 6 Bidens campylotheca, 25 Caesalpinia kavaiensis, 12 Clermontia calophylla, 7 Clermontia drepanomorpha, 7 Clermontia lindseyana, 24 Clermontia peleana, 123 Clermontia pyrularia, 3 Colubrina oppositifolia, 2 Cyanea hamatiflora carlsonii, 9 Cyanea platyphylla, 96 Cyanea stictophylla, 4 Cyanea tritomantha, 50 Cyrtandra giffardii, 272 Delissea undulate, 69 Erythrina sandwicensis, 131 Flueggea neowawraea, 76 Fragaria chiloenis subsp., 47 Hedyotis cookiana, 2 Hibiscadelphus hualalaiensis, 139 Hibiscus brackenridgei, 4 Melicope hawaiensis, 181 Nothocestrum breviflorum, 60 Ochrosia haleakalae, 191 Phyllostegia floribunda, 331 Phyllostegia racemosa, 44 Phyllostegia velutina, 140 Phyllostegia warshaueri, 25 Pittosporum hawaiense, 11 Platydesma remyi, 11 Pleomele hawaiiensis, 7 Pritchardia afffinis, 27 Pritchardia schattaueri, 14 Rubus macraei, 98 Schiedea diffusa ssp macraei, 6 Stenogyne cranwelliae, 21 Stenogyne macrantha, 15 Tetraplasandra kavaiensis, 19 Trematolobelia grandifolia, 27 Vicia menziesii, and 2 Zanthozylum dipetalum tomentosa.
In addition to the listed species, VRPF propagated 1838 unlisted native plants for restoration projects. These include species that are new and unnamed, species that were previously listed, and many from areas like Puu Waawaa that have become locally rare. VRPF finds these plants are necessary for building a healthy plant community to support threatened and endangered species.
As a part of VRPF’s educational mission the staff hosted members of the following groups: Imi Pono Na Ka Aina, Kau Future Farmers of America, Pono Pacific, Aikane Nursery, Vancouver Natural History Society, The Nature Conservancy, Catalina Island Conservancy, and the USFWS Regional Office. In addition, VRPF presented workshops to USFWS Conservation Partnerships and DOFAW Land Owner Incentive Program.