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Hawaii Island Palm Society

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The Hawaii Island Palm Society, (HIPS), is a great group of people who simply love palms and who strive to promote their use in private gardens and the general landscape. Our goal is to perpetuate rare and endangered palms worldwide, through the sharing of seeds and plants. Our organization is affiliated with the International Palm Society and is dedicated to community outreach and education.  Among other community services, HIPS volunteers plan, plant, and help maintain the outstanding palm collection at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens in Hilo.  

Members enjoy private garden tours, lectures, electronic newsletter, an annual banquet and palm auction, use of an extensive reference library, and discount pricing with BEI Agricultural Products in Hilo.

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Upcoming events

    • 8 May 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • Lise's House

    Board Meeting will finalize garden tour details, full agenda will be sent out closer to the meeting date.  Members are welcome to attend.  Contact Rick Kelley,

    • 25 May 2019
    • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    • Information will be sent to members prior to event

    Set your reminders!  The first garden tour of 2019 will start with the compact and species rich garden of Tim Brian and Bob Gibbens.  The garden has had several alterations from when HIPS last visited, and it is a great example of what you can do in a residential garden.  Date is not confirmed, stay tuned for more information and photos.

    • 26 May 2019
    • 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Entrance, Panaewa Zoo and Botanical Garden, Hilo

    Join us again for this wonderful event that supports the Panaewa Zoo and Botanical Garden.  There will be a wide variety of plants for sale by local vendors, and Tim Brian from HIPS will lead a popular tour of the garden's palm collection.  HIPS will have an information booth to answer palm questions, distribute seeds from the Zoo's palm collection, promote this year's garden tours, and sign up new members.  

    • 27 Jun 2019
    • 10:00 AM
    • 30 Jun 2019
    • 4:00 PM
    • Hilo Orchid Show

    HIPS will again create a beautiful display and prove that palms are an orchid's best friend.  This year's theme is Odyssey.  Creative volunteers needed to build the display and to donate material.  Volunteers that work the booth during the show will get free admission to the event.  Contact Sara at

New Cycad Garden in Memory of

Kristin McGrath

Last June Pat McGrath approached Rick Kelley from the HIPS Zoo Crew about donating cycads to the zoo in memory of his wife.  Pat and his wife came to Hawaii in the early seventies to start a nursery business, Hawaii Nurseries, inc.  In typical Rick fashion, he jumped in and brought the right people together to get things started.  Pat's generous donation in memory of his wife has now brought together a community including Hawaii County, Boy Scouts of America, and HIPS members to begin to realize a new garden at the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  There is so much work to be done, and you can get more information and follow the progress by going to the Kristin McGrath Cycad Garden forum on our website.  You must be a member to post.

Slide Show:  2018 International Palm Society Biennial in Colombia 

Click here to view! 

Planning for the next Biennial is underway scheduled for 2020 in RĂ©union an island off the coast of Africa.

Learn About IPS

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November/December Newsletter

Contact Us:  

P.O. Box 1585, Kea'au, Hi   96749

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