The Use of Native Hawaiian Plants by Landscape Architects in Hawaii

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Virginia Tech

Hawaii has lost significant numbers of native flora and fauna resulting from introduced grazing animals, invasive flora, fire and a loss of habitat due to urbanization and agricultural use. Scientists believe that protecting these plants can be achieved by eliminating or reducing threats to native ecosystems, generating and maintaining genetic back-up and by outplanting. The Endangered Species Act and Acts 73 and 236 (State Law requiring the use of native Hawaiian plants in State funded projects) were created to protect rare and common native plants and increase the populations and public awareness of these plants. Two surveys and case studies were conducted to determine if and why landscape architects in Hawaii use native Hawaiian plants in their planting plans and to compare use in the public and private sectors. The findings show that the majority of landscape architects use native Hawaiian plants in their planting plans as a result of Acts 73 and 236. Unavailable plant material, unestablished maintenance requirements and difficulty selecting plants for a site are constraints faced by landscape architects that may inhibit their use of native plants.

Hawaii, Native Hawaiian Plants, Landscape Architecture, Hawaiian Culture