Friday, January 22, 2010
The Big Island of Hawaii has an amazing plethora of growers that export food commodities to the world, and also amazing floral businesses that are a huge part of our agro-economy. I’m going to take you on a visit to one of our local growers of specialty Vireyas or Tropical Rhododendrons.
We are visiting the White Cloud nursery in the Ka’eohe Homesteads on the east side of Hawaii Island. This area really feels and looks like we are in the cloud forests where vireyas tend to flourish in higher altitude conditions.
Pete and Jane Adams are the owners of the nursery and they have been growing and selling vireyas at White Cloud exclusively. This nursery specializes in subtropical vireyas and comprises of five acres with over 300 species of hybrid Vireya and Madenni Rhododendrons. There is also a wonderful show garden and green house that is open to the public on Saturdays from 9 to 2 pm.
Shall we start our tour with Pete and Jane, they promised to spare us a few minutes from their busy schedule to show us some amazing plants today! The show gardens are very well laid out and bordered with logs from paper bark tree’s that were cut down to open up the growing display areas. The walkways are cinder rock so that makes it very easy to walk around the display areas. I didn’t ask about wheel chair accessibility but it looks doable if your willing to push someone through the cindered pathways.
Here’s one of the first beauties that caught my eye while we were walking. Its called Will Silent, I should have asked why this was called that name, but I was just to stunned by the color and wanted to capture the amazing flower clusters and the burst of sunlight.
Let me introduce you to Christo Rey which has vivid orange and a yellow throat base, its dazzling and the flowers look just soo perfect.
If you like pink and frilly then you will love Queensland which has dark maroon leaves, showy flowers and is fragrant with spicy scents.
This showy bi-colored Vireya is called Haloed Gold and it is a frequent bloomer and is very sun tolerant. A nice upright shrub with glossy foliage.
I love peach colored flowers like this one called lulu, its got a zany name that makes me smile.
Now this flower is all yellow and its name is a mouthful, its called Laetum X Arigeranum. The leaves were so green and glossy, it made the yellow really pop!
I think I caught the light really well on this flower called Aravir, its just stunning and the scent is just amazing, light floral and jasmine scent. I would love to get a few of these please.
For those that want a smaller gem, this one is still dramatic. Its called R. Commonae and the small bells are almost pure red, what a drama queen!
This one is my favorite on the tour, its called Candy Halo and it really has it all. Showy pink framing a white star and deep yellow throat and a large flower. ..humm you had me at hello!
I think I could go on and on through their beautiful display garden, but it was getting really hot outside so we decided to check out the green house for some well deserved shade. This is the interior shot of the green house. It is over 3000 square feet and used primarily for propagating their export certified plants.
We toured the inside briefly and I saw alot of the propagated plants, minatures and new varieties that are currently being tested. I also saw a few beauties that were actually more interesting for their foliage like this one called R. Polyanthemum, it has rusty and furry leaves and would add alot of texture and color to an all green garden.
Well I’m feeling a little sun stroke and I thank Jane and Pete for spending some time with us. If you would like to check out their website for more information about growing these amazing plants and adding some to your collection, here’s their website below. http://www.whitecloudnursery.com/
If your ever on the Big Island of Hawaii, please stop and visit the White Cloud nursery outside of Pahoa Village, Pete and Jane are such wonderful garden friends, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy meeting them. Also, If you enjoyed our tour, please feel free to make a comment below, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Thanks for joining me on our vireya tour and I’ll look forward to visiting another favorite plant grower from Hawaii soon.