Hawai’i Plant World Essentials
A guide to making wise plant choices
Though the process of invasion by exotic species at lower elevations cannot be entirely reversed, remaining native plant species and communities can be supported in their re-establishment and resilience. With focused community awareness and intention, lowland vegetation communities, and the general lower elevation landscape, can be greatly improved in native biodiversity and ecosystem health.
Understanding the distinctions between native, Polynesian-introduced, non-native, and invasive plant species is key to preserving what little remains of Hawai‘i’s native lowland rainforests, and supporting the biodiversity and vitality of Hawai‘i’s low elevation landscape in general. A list of the more common lowland species found within these groups is alphabetically organized in this manual, along with images to help with species identification.
In developing this manual, Jaya’s hope is to promote awareness of low elevation vegetation and inspire the appreciation and re-integration of native species into our lowland environment. This guide offers a practical and fundamental approach to helping landowners and local residents make informed decisions about propagation choices and plant control in Hawai‘i. Despite some plant variations, the information provided in this booklet can generally be helpful to landscapes across the Hawaiian Islands.
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