UH Manoa’s Lyon Arboretum receives $150,000 to help preserve rare plants

DLNR funds will enhance rare plant restoration efforts

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jul 17, 2008

The Lyon Arboretum has been awarded $150,000 by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, to enhance the Arboretum‘s infrastructure for the management of rare plant seeds in Hawaiʻi and for restoration of rare species native to Oʻahu.

Half of all known native Hawaiian plants are classified as threatened or endangered or are considered by specialists to be potentially threatened. Because of lack of remaining habitat or of biological understanding of how they reproduce, many of these plants cannot be saved given current resources. However, seed can be maintained long-term in appropriate cold-storage conditions and used later for restoration programs.

"DLNR is pleased to partner with Lyon Arboretum to expand the existing capacity of statewide seed storage for Hawaiian plants and to provide staff for rare plant restoration and conservation on the island of Oʻahu. These programs are vital to the perpetuation of the native and endangered plants and ecosystems of our islands. We have seen the devastating loss of the wiliwili trees statewide, and ʻseed banks‘ give us the hope of being able to restore these species once we identify biological controls," said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR Chairperson.

Seeds will be obtained from a variety of sources, including federal and State agencies, and other botanic gardens and land owners.

Dr. Christopher Dunn, director of the Lyon Arboretum, said, "The ultimate goal is to aid recovery of rare species in Hawaiʻi. These funds will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of rare plant recovery."

The Lyon Arboretum reopened its newly renovated Visitor Center in June, and last week began opening on Saturdays for public tours.

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The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a unit of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. It is a 193-acre tropical rainforest located in the head of the Mānoa Valley and is open to the public. Its mission is to increase the appreciation of the unique flora of Hawaiʻi and the tropics, by conserving, curating, and studying plants and their habitats; providing inclusive educational opportunities; encouraging use by the broader community; and supporting the educational, scientific, and service activities of the University of Hawaiʻi.
The Arboretum is located at 3860 Mānoa Road, Honolulu, HI 96825.
Phone: 808.988.0456
Hours: 8am — 4pm, Monday — Friday; 9am — 3pm, Saturday