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Shrubs

This category contains 3 posts

Ti

*Polynesian Introduced

Scientific Name: Cordyline terminalis

Hawaiian Names: Ki, Ti

This plant was another introduction by the Hawaiians  to  Hawaii.  They used the Ti plant had a wide range of uses, ranging from, wrappings for food, thatching, medical purposes,  plates, and clothes.  The plant also was considered sacred to the god of agriculture ( Lono) and the godess of hula (Laka). An incredible demonstration of the use as a rain coat can be found here. 

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Paper Mulberry

* Polynesian Introduced

Scientific Name: Broussonetia papyrifer

Hawaiian Name: Wauke

The Hawaiians did not have cotton or mammal hair to weave cloth so instead they relied or bark cloth(Kapa). The Wauke was the primary plant he Hawaiians used for making such cloth.  They used Kapa and the Wauke for bedding, ceremonies, clothes, and wrapping the bones of their ancestors.   The Hawaiians cut the side branches off  until it grew to about 4 feet high. At that point they cut it down and  stripped off it’s bark. The bark was then soaked it water,  before being pounded into Kapa cloth.

Olona

Scientific name Touchardia latifolia

Hawaiian Name Olona

The Hawaiians specifically cultivated this plant for its cordage.  It has now been found to be one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. The Hawaiians stripped and soaked the inner bark into cordage for use in fishing lines, attaching adz heads to handles, weapons and repair.