Old Seeds Yield New Species – ‘ena ‘ena
by Tamara Sherrill
We recently cleaned out our seed storage refrigerator and found some seeds that had been collected and stored up to ten years ago. These seeds were at risk of becoming entombed if not given a chance to germinate. We gave priority to species that were not currently featured in the Gardens, and we now have some new native plants to nurture!
One of the most successful has been the Pseudognaphalium sandwicensium var. molokaiense, ‘ena ‘ena. beautiful annual, ‘ena ‘ena, Pseudognaphalium sandwicensium var. molokaiense, a densely white, pubescent dune species from Moloka‘i that also occurs on Maui. In old Hawai‘i, the dried fragrant leaves of ‘ena‘ena were stored with feather kahili to repel insects.
Look for ‘ena ‘ena in the coastal garden, where another Moloka‘i species, the alula, can also be seen in full bloom!