• Puakala

    Argemone glauca

    Native Hawaiian puakala is illustrated in the Puakala design. Puakala literally means thorny flower in Hawaiian. This resilient plant can reach up to waist high but is often shorter. It grows in dry sunny exposed environments often within a mile of the coast. Its flowers are a brilliant white and it’s foliage has a bluish tinge that makes it eye catching even from quite a distance. Like the better known rose, it’s classic beauty is fringed with prickles, matching its character as a flower that thrives and beautifies its harsh environment.

  • Hāpu'u Tree Fern

    Cibotium glaucum

    Native Hawaiian hāpu'u is illustrated in the Hapu'u 'Ilima Mauka to Makai design. Endemic to Hawai'i and once found abundantly in the rainy valleys and mountains of Mānoa and throughout Hawai'i, their numbers have dwindled over the last centuries. This threatened species was once harvested and exploited in the 1850s for the thick hair that covers the stems were used to stuff pillows. It then became a popular species as a media for growing orchids. Slow growing with tree-like stems that grow at only 1 inch per year, it is making a slow comeback in protected areas. Hāpu'u is highly appreciated for both its beauty as an understory tree fern in the wet forests of Hawai'i as well as in the landscape where it makes a great focal point in protected wet environments. Here in the back of Mānoa valley it can be seen at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum, a research unit of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

  • 'Ama'u Tree Fern

    Sadleria cyatheoides

    Native Hawaiian 'ama'u tree fern is illustrated in the 'Ama'u Fern design. This fern is found on most of the Hawaiian islands in wet forests. It is also a pioneer species, one of the first plants to grow in the lava rock and cinder around the Kīlauea volcano. Nowhere are 'ama'u tree ferns found in more abundance than around Kīlauea at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. In fact Halemaʻumaʻu, the name of the main volcanic crater, literally means the home of the 'ama'u. Its beautiful young red fern fronds almost seem to pay tribute to the volcano that is their home. Many Hawaiian legends tell the stories of Kamapuaʻa, a mischievous pig demi-god who takes on many forms including the kinolau (physical form) of the ' ama'u tree fern. He is best known for his tempestuous fiery love relationship with the volcano goddess Pele.

  • 'Ilima

    Sida falax

    Native Hawaiian 'ilima was illustrated in my Hapu'u 'Ilima Mauka to Makai design. Found growing throughout Hawai’i but known locally as the island flower, it is the symbol of the central and most populated Hawaiian island of O'ahu. it is most common seen growing in coastal areas where it grows low close to the land. Coastal development makes this species less common than it once was, but you can still spot it in undisturbed coastal areas and occasionally grown in people’s yards. It was once highly regarded for lei making and was associated with royalty. Thousands of flowers are needed to make a single garland that lasts only a day. Lei making is an act of love for the recipient and its persistence in Hawaiian culture shows the continued value of relationship building within this island community.

  • Palapalai Fern

    Microlepia strigosa

    Native Hawaiian palapalai fern is illustrated in the Palapalai Fern design. This delicate graceful timeless fern has been used for centuries to make lei. Palapalai lei is often used in traditional hula dances since it is considered sacred to Laka, the Hawaiian goddess of hula. This fern once grew in abundance throughout the forested slopes of valleys of the Hawaiian islands. Today, this understory fern has become more rare and deserves greater care, cultivation, and restoration to its former abundance.