Illustrated by Eryn Iwanaga, New Media Arts Student
Music by Joseph Yoshida
“He ‘a‘ali‘i kū makani.” The wind-resistingʻ‘a‘ali‘i.
Mary Kawena Pūku‘i, ʻŌlelo No‘eau, Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1983, #507
‘A‘ali‘i (Dodonaea viscosa)
‘A‘ali’i is an indigenous plant found in various gardens on campus and can be found on all the main islands except for Kaho‘olawe (where it most likely occurred in the past and presently it is being out planted there), and then dominant again in the upper dry forest and sub-alpine dry forests of Maui and Hawai‘i. A’ali’i is a dense shrub (4-8 ft.) with small green leaves and tiny flowers that develop into star shaped papery seed capsules. These plants are mostly dioecious, meaning that they’re usually separate male and female flowered plants; rarely, they can be hermaphroditic, having both flower types on the same plant. However, the seed capsules that everyone loves for lei making and plant color only come from the female flowers. These seed capsules vary in color from cream to yellow, green, pink, all the way to deep dark maroon-red. (Excerpts from http://hawaiiannativeplants.com/ourplants/aalii-2/)
Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a peaceful new year.