As usual, Volcano Village was abuzz with its July 4th celebration this past weekend at Cooper Center. Of course, there were booths with post-parade onolicious grinds for brunch -- malasadas, Thai curry, and pulled pork at 10 am. But first, quite naturally, I was sucked into the Lehua Lena Nursery booth selling an outstanding selection of native Hawaiian plants, such as native mint-less mint (Lamiaceae), olomea (Perrottetia sandwicensis), and kukaenene (Coprosma ernodeoides).
I was very excited to get one of my favorite natives, pa'iniu (Astelia) to try out in my yard. I’ve been in love with it ever since I saw it in bloom on a hike around Kilauea Iki. Its luminous silvery leaves and unusual flower spikes are quite striking among the deep green of the native forest.
I was also relieved to find a small seedling of ko'oko'olau (Bidens sp.). I needed one badly, right away, before my ku'u ipo returns from an out-of-town trip, since I accidently weedwhacked to a premature death the one that was in his yard : “Zeeeep! Uh oh, oh sugars.” That, and perhaps sharing some of my arugula, might help make amends. I hope.