The Hala Tree
Photograph by Hawaii Picture of the Day
This species of Hala tree, found on Hawaii before westerners arrived, was used for many purposes by historic Hawaiians. The massive fruit of this tree–about 6 to 12 inches across–was used for food. The leaves, called lauhala, were used for baskets, roofs, mats, and skirts.
The art of weaving the lauhala important to Hawaiians and a big part of their history and story.
The tree is part of the Pandanus (thatch screwpine) genus, which has about 600 species and is often called a palm tree, even though it is not closely related to palms.
This particular hala tree is found at the Laurie Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the Big Island.
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