About Research at Lyon Arboretum

Much of the research ongoing at Lyon Arboretum is conducted through the Hawaiian Rare Plant Program, which is comprised of 3 storage and propagation facilities; a micropropagation laboratory, seed conservation laboratory, and greenhouse. While the program focuses on providing storage and propagation services for outside conservation efforts, we also conduct conservation research right here at Lyon Arboretum.

Asplenium peruvianum var insulare

Asplenium peruvianum var insulare in tissue culture

Micropropagation Laboratory Research

Micropropagation is an indispensable tool in plant recovery work, especially in the case of immature seeds, extremely rare taxa, or unhealthy plant stock. In vitro storage is considered a medium-term storage method, high maintenance, but is capable of growing living plant tissue in large numbers under a disease-free, climate controlled environment. While much of the focus of the Micropropagation Lab is on propagating plants for active conservation, we also continually conduct research to develop new, and/or improve existing methodologies for the initiation and maintenance of in vitro living plant collections.  Read more…




Seed Conservation Laboratory Research

Cryptocarya oahuensis

holio (Cryptocarya oahuensis) fruit and seed

In the Seed Lab, over 8 million seeds are banked, representing more than 400 taxa of native Hawaiian plants. Of these, about half are federally listed as threatened or endangered. The Seed Lab partners with the Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEPP), the Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), and other agencies within the state to provide for both long-term storage – preservation of genetic variation – and propagation of plants for restoration efforts. However, we also conduct original research on seed characteristics such as storage behavior, longevity, dormancy, and germination. Read more…