Cordyline fruticosa (Ti Leaves)
Asparagaceae | Mala Maununu
Asia and Australia
Abundant in tropical
Pacific and Southeast Asia
Polynesians brought Ti leaves as a source of food, although tī developed greater cultural significance through its growth within the islands. Known as “Ki,” the Hawaiians believed the plant was sacred to the Hawaiian God Lono and Goddes Laka of hula, conveying itself as a common symbol of high rank and power. In addition, it was thought that Ti had the ability to
ward off evil spirits and was often placed bordering farmlands and houses to protect the enclosed areas.
There is a legend that states that if there is worry of a shark or supernatural creature in the water, you can place a Ti leaf in it to determine if it is safe; if the Ti leaf sinks, it is dangerous and if it floats, it is clear to enter.