I will make sure future generations of ʻālula are strong and healthy
I will grow alongside my family, so none of us have to be alone
I will make sure the sweet fragrance of my flowers aren’t forgotten
The ʻālula is an incredibly special plant with deep roots in NTBG history. ʻĀlula is one of several Hawaiian names used for two closely related species — Brighamia insignis endemic to Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, and B. rockii (also known as puaʻala) endemic to Lānaʻi, Maui, and Molokaʻi.
A cliff-dwelling plant, ʻālula once grew on multiple Hawaiian Islands but have gradually dwindled to less than a dozen due primarily to invasive plants species and animals. Scientists now believe that B. insignis is extinct in the wild. Brighamia rockii, still grows only on Molokaʻi’s high sea cliffs, with an estimated 11 individuals remaining in the wild.
Beginning in the 1970s NTBG botanists rappelled on the sea cliffs of Kauaʻi’s Nā Pali Coast to hand-pollinate wild ʻālula and collect seeds. NTBG then started growing ʻālula in their nursery, out planting it in their gardens, and sharing seeds with other botanic gardens. In recent years, ongoing research aims to better understand genetic diversity of ʻālula as it relates to their growth and survival.
NTBG and partners across the world are working to grow a brighter tomorrow for this special plant. With your help we can ensure ʻālula will flourish for generations to come.
ʻālula seeds (B. insignis and B. rockii) are safely housed in our Conservation Seed Bank
ʻālula are cared for in ex situ collections at over 52 institutions globally, thanks to early seed sharing efforts
ʻālula were outplanted at McBryde Garden and Limahuli Garden in 2022 as part of an ongoing study