Name of Plant: Hapuu Fern
Type of Plant: Beautiful/Useful!
1) Plant History & General Information:
a) Scientific & Other Names: Cibotium splendens
b) Region of Origin: native to most of the Hawaiin Islands
c) General History: Collected in the 1800s and used commercially as stuffing for pillows and mattresses
2) Plant Uses:
a) As Food: Both the young core and new leaves can be cooked – but in general, it is not at the top of the list of tasty dishes.
b) As Medicine: /
c) Other Uses: As the young shoots uncurl they have a fine golden hair that is very soft, almost like velvet. This hair is called ‘pulu’ and historically it was used commercially as stuffing for pillows and mattresses. The remnants of an old pulu factory can still be seen on the Napau Crater trail in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
3) Growing Instructions
a) Growing: Tree ferns benefit from a steady supply of water and occasional light applications of a complete fertilizer containing slow-release nitrogen. Tree ferns seldom branch. Old and injured fronds should be pruned.
c) Sunlight Requirements: Grows best in partial shade, but will tolerate full sun in cloudy, upland areas or in well-maintained landscapes.
d) Soil Requirements: grows best in well-drained, slightly acid soils
e) Propagation: The side shoots at the base of the plant can be removed to produce new plants. Häpu‘u can also be started from spores. Seldom survives transplanting.
f) Controlling Spread: /
g) Difficulties with this plant: Termites and mites may cause some minor problems.
h) History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /