Hawaiian Palms (Brighamia Insignis) have an unusual beauty. With soft green leaves and a patterned trunk, they are both sculptural and decorative. In the Spring and Summer these palms sprout pale yellow flowers that smell like honeysuckle. The Brighamia Insignis’s bountiful crown and long trunk are what makes this plant a highly coveted houseplant, but they are also the reason it’s struggling to survive in the wild.
The Hawaiian Palm evolved in conjunction with a unique breed of hawk moth, spawning deeply-lipped flowers as the hawk moth developed an unusually long spout. When the Hawaiian hawk moth became extinct, no other insect could reach the pollen held in the plant’s crevices, meaning it could no longer reproduce naturally.
Sadly, it is thought that there are only seven fully fledged Hawaiian Palms left in the wild.
But this is where you come in!
The Hawaiian Palm is now solely reliant upon human intervention to endure. In adopting one, you are actively helping the continuation of an endangered species. Growing demand for these plants encourages commercial actors to propagate Brighamia Insignis, and raises the profile of the plant’s plight, making a longer-term solution more likely.
If you choose to purchase one of our Hawaiian Palms, you will also directly contribute to the work of the IUCN Species Survival Commission who hope to return this species to the wild.
How to Care For a Hawaiian Palm
Although unable to reproduce in the wild, the Brighamia Insignis is actually pretty easy to care for. It likes bright, indirect sunlight, and warmth but can withstand lower temperatures - so is sure to survive the colder months. The only thing to be cautious of is overwatering, as this drought-tolerant plant’s roots will rot if it’s left to sit in water.
Hawaiian Palms are not technically palms, but a member of the bellflower family. Their unusual appearance is due in large part to their having evolved in relation to a single type of hawk moth.