Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Community Vacation Rentals and Green Hostel!

Hedonisia Hawaii Botanical Plant Inventory

Lauhala

History & General Information:

1) Lauhala 

a) Scientific Name: Pandanus tectorius

b) Region of Origin: Native to the South Pacific

c) General History:

The Hala tree is of great cultural, health and economic importance in many Pacific Islands. The fruit of the tree is used as a food source in many Pacific Islands. The fruits are often consumed fresh or as a preserved food while the trunks of P. tectorius can be used as building material, and leaves for thatching. Though many parts of the hala tree are utilized, in Hawaii the most common use of Hala is the leaves.

Hawaiians distinguish five kinds of the hala tree according to the color and size of the fruits:

  • hala ʻula (orange red)
  • hala lihilihi ʻula (red tip, becoming yellow to the center)
  • hala ʻīkoi (bright orange only at the tip)
  • hala melemele (yellow)
  • hala pia (not quite white, small fruit)

d) Plant Uses: Many Pacific cultures weave, plait, or braid the leaves of the P. tectorius to create useful items such as baskets, mats and hats. Though it is a long and arduous process to prepare the leaves for weaving, the final products are works of art with a pleasing earthy feel.

Remains of lauhala from burial caves in Hawaiʻi show almost the same patterns as more recent woven objects, therefore the tradition of this craft seems to be very old. The district of Puna on the Island of Hawaiʻi was known for the abundance of hala.

The favored lauhala for weaving was called “lauhala kilipaki”. The leaves of this Pandanus sp. were exceptionally soft and durable. They were highly prized for their beauty in color and the ease with which they could be plaited. Special sleeping mats were created out of the “Hinano”, male flower, of the hala tree. The light colored bracts were very soft and pliable and made very finely woven mats reserved for the chiefs. They were especially prized because of their scarcity. Male plants are much less common in the wild than female, and they only make a few flowers per season. The bracts are also very short, about 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long and 15 centimetres (5.9 in) wide, with only about two thirds of the bract actually usable for weaving.

e) As Food: Pending

f) As Medicine: Pending

3) Growing Instructions

a) Growing: Pending

b) Best time to Harvest: Pending

c) Sunlight Requirements: Pending

d) Soil Requirements: Pending

e) Propagation:

  • (Several people should work on cutting and transplanting this tree)
    • Locate area of transplant and prepare with soil to lay tree on the side pointed in the direction you want it to grow
    • Clear area of where you want the tree to fall
    • Trim as close to the main trunk of tree with electric chain saw
    • Cut off leaves up to about 1-2 ft from the top of tree
    • Everyone carry the tree to the transplant spot and lay as planned
    • Cover base of tree with 2-3 buckets of harvested soil, brown leaves
    • Water thoroughly and check every week on it’s progress
    • Add more soil or composted material as needed

f) Controlling Spread: Pending

g) Difficulties: Pending

h) History of this Plant at Hedonisia: Pending

i) Location on Property: Gardens A, B, W