Hawaiian name: Pili, Lule
This plant was the Hawaiians’ choice grass to be used for thatching. The common use of this plant helped Hawaiian houses earn the title of “grass shacks” The Hawaiians also used this plant for dye and as flooring pad. This grass is used to restore the United States Great Plains’ grasslands and prairies.( Image by Forest and Starr)
Hawaiian Name: Ahu’awa
The long stocks of this sedge were pounded down into fiber and used for cordage. This crushed stock were also used to strain the pulp out of Awa root drink. This plant grows often in wetlands but also grows well in dry areas and it’s fibrous roots do a good job of controlling erosion.
Hawaiian name: Kalamalo, Kawelu, Emoloa
Although this grass looks ubiquitous it is actually a native grass that works well for erosion control and ecosystem restoration. The Hawaiians occasionally used this grass for thatching. This plant also provides a breeding habitat for the endangered laysan duck and laysan finches. (Image by Forest and Starr)