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Visiting The Holy Grail at the Floribunda Palm Temple

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The Hawaii Island Palm Society and Floribunda Palms & Exotics put on their first ever Palm Master Class - and it was pretty mind blowing.  The class size was restricted so there were two sessions of a little less than 30 people each.  We met at the Hawaiian Acres Community Association and HIPS shuttled people to Floribunda with a rented a shuttle bus and a member's minivan.



Edited by MaryLock

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ArrivalMinibus.thumb.jpeg.2b9bd4442148ced9b8f7878136bf4721.jpegArriving at Floribunda on the bumpy Hawaiian Acres unpaved roads is an adventure.


We learned a little bit about palm morphology, taxonomy, horticulture, and conservation by distribution.  

sclerosperma.thumb.jpeg.194b7065090252fb91752e3761c5c82e.jpegJeff passed out a list of highlights that was 40 species long, and we kept finding things that weren't on the list!  But this Sclerosperma mannii was.



But this beautiful Licuala sp. did not!




We learned a little about pollination with a demonstration on Borrassodendron machadonis.  The smell of the male and female flowers was very musky bordering on nasty.


We got to see some beautiful palms, most all of them in flower or fruit.  Like this Geonoma atrovirens with a color like dinosaur kale.



It was like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when we got to go inside the green house!

And everything was in flower or fruit.  Like this crazy black flowers of Hyophorbe vaughnii below.  So much random beauty:




We were treated so nicely, Jeff and Suchin always had the Polaris nearby with a big cooler of water and soda, and even a cooler of beer.  At the end of each session, there were pupu bento boxes waiting for us.  


If any of you reading this are beside yourself with envy, you might want to sign up for the IPS Hawaii Biennial because attendees will get to visit Floribunda in October 2022.  Jeff and Suchin's garden will be a highlight among highlights.  The Hawaii Island Palm Society can't wait to show you around!



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Extraordinary photos, Mary! Thanks for this wonderful post. Though I've been to Floribunda many times, I won't miss the chance to go again, especially with lots of other palm nuts in company.

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Cindy Adair

Wow doesn’t begin to cover my thoughts when I viewed these photos!

I am very appreciative of your efforts Mary, to post all these photos with descriptions. 

I am super excited to be able to attend the October IPS Biennial including seeing Floribunda myself.  

Being surrounded by equally enthralled attendees will exponentially increase the fun.

Don’t miss this chance!



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Everywhere I looked there were incredible things, like this huge Dypsis leucomalla, that feels like the softest suede:


Suchin brought a sheath from leucomalla to use as a vase for orchids.  Petting that soft fur on the sheath was like petting a therapy dog.


The best for me was seeing the Hawaiian Lolu palm, Pritchardia viscosa from Kauai.  There are only a handful of these palms - 4 known individuals maybe? in the wild and 15 at NTBG where they are growing them to be out planted.  But look at these seeds on this giant viscosa that was collected decades ago.  You really can see things here that are almost impossible in the wild.


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That last photo is incredible!  Thanks, Mary!

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