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"ARCS" is Proof of Good Breeding . . . Literally!

Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ARCS Foundation has a flower named for it! In 1988, University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Manoa plant breeder and genetic researcher Dr. Haruyuki Kamemoto created two lavender anthuriums through a complex cross, anointing the varieties ‘ARCS’ and ‘ARCS Hawai‘i’ to recognize our organization’s support of ARCS Scholars in the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

Kamemoto, the Honolulu chapter’s 1990 Scientist of the Year, started his anthurium and orchid breeding program in 1950. Within three decades, Hawai‘i was supplying domestic and international markets with 30 million flowers a year. 2008 ARCS Honolulu Scientist of the Year Dr. Adelheid Kuhnle introduced molecular breeding to the program before launching a biotech company focused on algae research. Another Kamemoto protégé, Dr. Teresita Amore, supports the state’s tropical floricultural industry with novel, award-winning, and disease-resistant flower varieties (including the 2004 ARCS sibling ‘Maggie Inouye,’ named for the wife of Hawai‘i Sen. Daniel Inouye), as well as improved growing techniques and pest and disease control methods.

“In an era of cheap imported flowers, this research is essential to sustaining an economically important Hawai‘i industry while advancing understanding of plant genetics,” said Honolulu Chapter President Patricia Lee. “The ‘ARCS’ anthurium is a beautiful symbol, both literally and figuratively, of the important partnership between ARCS Foundation and our universities.”

The ‘ARCS’ anthurium is available by mail order as a potted plant or cut blooms through the following Hawai‘i growers: Green Point Nurseries, Alii Flowers,  or Aloha Hawaiian Flowers and Gifts.