Aloha kākou e fellow students! Here are my notes from our walk along the old Pali road last Saturday, 10/9/04.
The day was lovely; the pali was alive with the previous night's rain, and nā akua blessed us with a little more ua -- only a little -- on our walk.  We trucked down the old road and slowly worked our way back up looking at the plants.  I've added the scientific names for many of them here, which I think are all pretty correct (sometimes they vary in the literature), although the photos might show a different (but related) species or variety in one or two cases.  I've also added references to some of the books, cited at the bottom of this page.

Thanks to Portland we have some good photos as references and reminders of which plants the notes refer to.  In some cases where she didn't have photos, I've used some photos from the Hawai‘i Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) website, etc, but in many cases these photos are from quite different habitats, or might be different species in the same genus, so they don't reflect exactly what we saw. If anyone else who took pictures on the trip wants to email me their photos I'd be delighted to use them as replacements!

I realize that I didn't take the greatest notes in the world, and if anyone would like to add to them I'd be happy to make the changes.  Do let me know if this page is useful or if you'd like me to add anything to it.


Come into the forest with respect.  The plants are living beings, with spirit, and they will understand your attitude and intentions.  Talk to them, touch them, tell them why you need them, thank them.  Do not take more than you need, and use what you have taken.  The forest will remember you, and when you return you will be welcomed and aided to the extent to which you have honored it -- and be hindered if you have been disrepectful.  Only come with people who are comfortable with coversing with the spirits of the place and plants (people).
Pay attention to the plants: Notice how plants grow, what they likes, shade or sun, rocks or dirt, wet or dry, what other plants they grow with.  Listen to them...

‘iwa‘iwa   (maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris et al, ADIANTACEAE)
Likes wet, rocky crevices -- its presence a sign of water. Good for respiratory system, clears phlegm. Takes quite a bit to make a handful, steep in 1 pt. water.  Dried lasts to 6 mos.
Photo of 'iwa'iwa by P Knox
pala‘ā   (Sphenomeris chinensis, LINDSAEACEAE)
Good for headaches, use with nīoi for increased action; could also use palapalai.
Likes dirt slopes, tranquility.
Photo of pala'a by P Knox
uluhe   (Dicranopteris linearis, GLEICHENIACEAE)
Very dangerous, hard stalks. Tea good for treating constipation.
Photo of Uluhi by P Knox
liko lehua   (Metrosideros polymorpha, MYRTACEAE)
Young reddish leaves  of ‘ōhi‘a lehua, traditionally used for laurels.
Tea strengthens blood/ immune system. Wood very hard.
 Photo of lehua by P Knox

Treats diarrhea.

Photo of kamehmeha by P Knox
hala   (Pandanus tectorius, PANDANACEAE)
Strong wood used for construction, cured immersed in seawater (to 6 mos.)
Phallic root-tips crushed & mixed with niu for male "strength," stimulating (as ♂ flowers (hīnano) used).

[Abbott1992:101, Krauss2001:14-19]
Photo of hala root by P Knox
liliko‘i   (Passiflora edulis v flavicarpa, PASSIFLORACEAE)
Treats insomnia, calms nerves. Flowers particularly potent, use 2-3 for tea, but leaves also good.
Flowers spring/summer; dried flowers should be kept in freezer, safe from bugs.
Maybe 7 varieties in Hawai‘i nei: all good.
Photo of liliko'i by P Knox
honohono   (wandering jew, Commelina diffusa, COMMELINACEAE)
Photo of honohono by P Knox
oliwa-kū   (Kalanchoe pinnata, CRASSULACEAE)

Photo of OliwaKu by P Knox
‘aki‘aki   (California grass, Brachiaria mutica, POACEAE)
(This name is also used for some other, native grasses.)
Image of Brachiaria mutica habit at Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-031210-0090
koali   (Ipomoea indica, CONVOLVULACEAE)
Makes laxative tea; best to use vines near earth, steep 3 min. Heartshaped leaves of koali ‘awa are somewhat long and pointy, stems green to purplish, flower white. Those of koali pehu are rounder, stems green, flower lavender in morning, pink in evening, with white center.
ipo_inds.jpg (13220 bytes)
moa   (Psilotum spp., Psilotaceae)
Used for cleansing, as laxative. "The oldest plant."

ha‘uōwī, ha‘uoi   (Verbena litoralis, VERBENACEAE)
Use as poultice.

[MacBride1975:35, Kaiahua1997:4]
kī nehe   (Bidens pilosa, ASTERACEAE)
Used like ko‘oko‘olau but not as strong.
Image of Bidens pilosa habit at Puu o Kali, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-030424-0109
‘akoko   (Chamaesyce spp., EUPHORBIACEAE)
Treats blood, female system. Formerly abundant, only red leaves were used.
Image of Chamaesyce skottsbergii habit at Maui Nui Botanical Garden, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-040318-0021
dandelion   (Taraxacum officinale, ASTERACEAE)
Good for liver; use with ‘ōlena.
Photo of dandelion by P Knox
‘ala‘alawainui   (Peperomia spp., PIPERACEAE)
Found on cliffs with limu kele; likes logs, shade. Good for treating female system.
Small smooth leaves in whorls (of 4).
Photo of 'ala'alawainui by P Knox
māmaki   (Pipturus spp, URTICACEAE)
Calming, mild laxative.
[Abbott1992:102, Krauss2001:85-88, Kaiahua1997:15]
kukui   (Aleurites moluccana, EUPHORBIACEAE)
Sap good for tongue, mouth.

[Abbott1992:100, Krauss2001:65-69, MacBride1975:48, Kaiahua1997:11]
Image of Aleurites moluccana leaves and fruit at Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-020803-0118
lakana   (Lantana camara, VERBENACEAE)
Use flowers and leaves (as tea or blood) for skin poultice, relief. Plant thorny.

Photo of lakana by P Knox
laukahi   (Plantago spp., PLANTAGACEAE)
laua‘e   (Microsorium scolopendria, POLYPODIACEAE)
Use type without spores. Poultice good for backache; use with honohono (and nīoi & koali).
pōpolo   (Solanum americanum, SOLANACEAE)
Good for treating pneumonia, clearing phlegm. Very strong, take only 1 T to 1/4 glass - do not take too much.
Berries tasty, like sweet tomatoes.
[Abbott1992:99, MacBride1975:67, Kaiahua1997:21]
sol_ames.jpg (10673 bytes)
‘awapuhi melemele   (Hedychium flavescens, ZINGIBERACEAE)
Root blood good for ringworm, skin problems, e.g. 'haole rot,' kane.
Image of Hedychium flavescens habit at Hanawi stream, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-030729-0112
kuawa   (Psidium guajava, MYRTACEAE)
Branch tips (w. young leaves) steeped as tea, used as postpartum sitz bath, & douche.
Also used to treat diarrhea.

[Krauss2001:60-64, MacBride1975:47, Kaiahua1997:9]
Image of Psidium guajava fruits ripe at Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-020803-0117
ko‘oko‘olau   (native Bidens spp., ASTERACEAE)
Excellent treatment for diabetes, HBP.
Leaves opposite and alternating pairs offset 90º (decussate).

[Abbott1992:102, Krauss2001:55-59. MacBride1975:46, Kaiahua1997:8]
Image of Bidens micrantha subsp. kalealaha flowers and leaves at Auwahi, Maui, Hawaii.  Photo# starr-040731-0066
hinahinakū, mekokoikapali   (Heliotropium anomalum, BORAGINACEAE)
Grows on cliffs, good for treating paralysis.
Photo of hinahinaku by P Knox 


Isabella Aiona Abbott, La‘au Hawai‘i : traditional Hawaiian uses of plants
June Gutmanis, Hawaiian herbal medicine : kahuna la‘au lapa'au
Kalua Kaiahua, Hawaiian healing herbs : a book of recipes
Beatrice H. Krauss, Plants in Hawaiian medicine
L. R. McBride, Practical folk medicine of Hawaii