Introduction of Kentia Palm Seed into Norfolk Island.

In 1878 the New South Wales government appointed Captain R.R.Armstrong, R.N. As Forest Ranger to Lord Howe Island. Captain Armstrong is credited with establishing the Kentia Palm seed industry in the Island. The first local Islander to begin exporting Kentia seeds on a regular basic from Lord Howe Island to Australian and European buyers was T.B.Wilson.

T.B.Wilson arrived on Lord Howe Island in 1878 and shortly thereafter was appointed the Island’s first schoolteacher. Wilson bought with him a quantity of Norfolk Island Pine seeds. He had obtained the seeds from Norfolk Island during a brief stop-over en route to Lord Howe Island from New Zealand. In 1881 he and his wife whom he had wed on Lord Howe Island in 1878 went on a visit back to New Zealand. The vessel on which they were traveling made a port call at Norfolk Island. Knowing in advance that this stop-over would take place, Wilson took with him a quantity of Kentia Palm seeds. He used the seeds as repayment for the Norfolk Island Pine seeds he had bought into Lord Howe Island.

This friendly exchange of seeds is the first recorded mention of the introduction of these plants into their respective Islands.

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