Palms Of Fiji CoverThe coconut and the Fiji fan palm are by far the best known of Fiji’s palms, but both may actually be old introductions to Fiji. This new book, the first ever published on the subject, describes the 31 species of palm that may be found growing wild in Fiji today; 25 of these are considered native and six are introduced. The book is lavishly illustrated by renowned wildlife artist, George Bennett.

Fiji’s palms are poorly known; indeed, two ‘species’ are not even scientifically described. They vary in size and form from the delicate 3-4 metre Balaka seemannii to the recently described Hydriastele boumae which is as tall as a coconut and emerges from the forest canopy. Half of Fiji’s endemic palms are on the world Red List of endangered plants and are officially categorized as threatened with extinction. The plight of Fiji’s palms is a microcosm of the plight of Fiji’s forests which are being butchered and burned, year in and year out, with hardly a murmur of public concern. Palms are a very appropriate conservation flagship for the Fiji Islands and also provide a wonderful opportunity for some of the more academic interests of the vulnerability of island floras and extinction processes.

Buy now: Palms of the Fiji Islands

Dick Watling Ph.D.
Environment Consultants Fiji
Websites: www.environmentfiji.com ; www.pacificbirds.com