Talanoa Consulting

A flower with a story

This is the most botanically significant genus in Fiji !

GENDA Disrupt industry talk 3


When designing this website for Talanoa Consulting, we struggled for a long time to find an image for our homepage that looked right and our whole team were happy with. With the clock ticking on the developer’s time, we settled on a placeholder image that we all liked that had been taken several years ago on a climb of Fiji’s highest mountain, Mt Tomaniivi

The image of a fallen flower grew on us as did the idea that maybe we had accidentally stumbled upon the right image after all. However, we had no idea what tree, plant or bush the flower was from. We decided to check with some botany experts to make sure that it was appropriate – and importantly for us, wasn’t an invasive species.

We emailed Dr Lex Thomson of Savurua Botanical Gardens and Mrs Suliana Siwatibau, a Trustee at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti and the owner of Waimakare Forest Farm, to find out.

We were delighted to see Lex’s response, although in true academic style, where nothing is certain, Mrs Siwatibau was not 100% sure. For now, we’re happy to believe, as it’s a great story. Here’s Lex’s email back to us:

This is the most botanically significant genus in Fiji ! It is in a family all of its own and only in Fiji (Degeneriaceae).
Dr Lex Thomson
University of Sunshine Coast

Hi Marita and Matt,

It looks like the remains of a Degeneria roseiflora flower.

This species was originally only reported from Vanua Levu but has now been found in the general area where you got it (as well as hybrids with Degeneria vitiensis).

This is the most botanically significant genus in Fiji ! It is in a family all of its own and only in Fiji (Degeneriaceae).

A remnant of Gondwana land flora….. a piece of Gondwana arced across the Pacific and resided near Fiji for a million years? before settling near Tonga (all that remains is ‘Eua).

For a long time Fiji was thought to be a part of Gondwana, but it is not, and has these relics which ‘hopped’ across from that piece of Gondwana.

Troppo appropriate flower to promote ! I wanted to make my Savurua logo from this flower, but I couldn’t get the logo to work.



Dr Lex Thomson

Pacific Agribusiness Research in Development 2 – Team LeaderAssociate Professor (Pacific Islands Agribusiness) & Adjunct Associate Professor (Agroforestry), University of Sunshine Coast