Mike Demotta, curator of living collections for the Hawai‘i National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) on Kaua'i has lived many lives: from being the garden's horticulturalist, a hula kane (male hula dancer), and speaker of `ōlelo Hawai'i (Hawaiian language) to NTBG's curator of both native and introduced plants at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Mike speaks to his knowledge of Hawaiian native ecosystems by way of ancient chant and mo`olelo (stories), while painting the picture of remote places like Ni`ihau and Lehua at the the oldest end of the Hawaiian archipelago. He brings us an appreciation for the role of botanical gardens in both education and rare plant restoration.
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