Stick Palms – The Real Story (Virga Camena)

This is the real story behind the Stick Palms on Michael Kollwitz’s (Michael Koll) CD, Suntan Lady.

On the cover graphic look to the island and you’ll see a species of flora thought to be extinct recently discovered on Maui.

Two rare Virga Camena Palms

I’ve included a few closeups below of this unusual species.  Michael was living on Maui and came across these rare trees while hiking in a dense forest one morning.  I was fortunate to have received his photos in an email and have reconstructed them as 3d graphic objects for his CD and placed them on a small island along with some excellent surfing equipment.  Upon further research I have found that this rare species is an offshoot of the Hawaiian Pritchardia, commonly called Loulu.  The Loulu generally have fan shaped leaves and a smooth, tapered trunk – but occasionally a mutant species erupts like this one.  It is said that this rare palm – called “Virga  Camena” (stick-poem or green-twig-song) actually can react to sounds and that the ‘O’u, Kaua’i ‘O’u and the Kama’o birds (now all extinct) would perch on the unusually shaped top of the palm and sing their haunting calls.  The Virga Camena would move to the birdsong swaying back and forth even without any wind.

Here are a few images of these rare palms:

Virga Camena – top view

Virga Camena with StickBoard

Virga Camena – Side view

© 2003-2016  SeanRhys Touring

Posted December 5, 2010 by seanstirling