Tropical Gardening: Native epiphytes and lithophytes not well represented in Hawaii

Photo courtesy of Voltaire Moise This photo taken in the Colombian Andes cloud forests shows branches of trees festooned with epiphytes like bromeliads, orchids, mosses and ferns. Representatives of this ecosystem are easy to grow in many Hawaiian gardens and are available at local nurseries.

If you were to visit the humid tropics of Asia, Central and South America you would be amazed at all the plants that grow on the branches of trees and even on rocks with no soil. We do have lichens, mosses and even ferns that have evolved here to festoon rainforest and cloud forest trees, but there are few compared to the rest of the tropical world.