Sadly endangered in its native habitat (the moth that pollinated it is now extinct), Brighamis Insignis, known as the Hawaiian Palm, makes an interesting house plant for a light spot without too much direct sunlight. A little trunk-like stem, tapering towards the top from a slightly swollen base, is topped by a spray of elongated shiny mid green leaves with rounded ends (pretty palm-like, it has to be said) which remains evergreen, with older leaves yellowing and dropping off and new leaves growing from the centre of the tuft. Undemanding, as it needs little in the way of watering or feeding and, if it really likes you, it will produce yellow scented flowers in the autumn. Well drained soil. To 36 in. 1 litre (13cm) decorative pot.
The story of Brighamia Insignis is a lesson in itself on the interdependence of species and just how fragile ecosystems can be. the In the wild volunteers try to ensure the survival of this lovely little plant by means of hand pollination, but tissue culture is how commercially grown plants are produced.
The basics of care for Brighamia Insignis are to water regularly but sparingly (if the soil is dry and leaves are drooping, it's a sign it's time to water), add some fertiliser every so often, and ensure your plant is getting plenty of light. You are more likely to harm the health of your hawaiian palm by overwatering than by underwatering. Don't let the temperature in winter get below 10C or so. Remove old leaves as they turn yellow and prepare to drop off and be replaced by new ones.
If you are potting up your brighamia, do make sure you use a compost that incorporates good drainage.
B. insignis is a tender perennial plant with a succulent stem topped by a rosette of palm like leaves and scented flowers in autumn suitable as a houseplant.
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