The Pacific lauhala tree, found throughout the Hawaiian islands, is as significant to Polynesia as it is eye-catching.
The root system of this multi-purpose tree stands prominently several feet above ground, giving the tree a mysterious look compared to its surroundings of beach or forest.
Hawaiians and other Polynesians traditionally used the fruit of this tree for food and trade. The leaves are still used for weaving baskets, mats, and hats as they have been for many years.
“Lau” means “leaf” in Hawaiian and “hala” refers to this type of tree.