Talk Story

Stories from Maui Cultural Lands ‘Ohana

Every culture around the world has its own way of sharing information. Here in the islands, we share informally by “talking story”—slowing down and taking time to explore ideas, stories, opinions and history with the people around us. We hope our Talk Story will help to inspire and connect our community!

  • Nehe

    Melanthera Integrifolia

    Nehe are members of the Sunflower or Aster family (Asteraceae). There fourteen endemic species of Melanthera in the Hawaiian Islands. The taxonomic genus name has been changed from Lipochaeta to Melanthera. Melanthera integrifolia hybridizes with Lipochaeta lobata subsp. lobata at Kaʻena Pt., Oʻahu. The hybrids produce nearly sterile seed. The […]

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  • Kupukupu fern

    Nephrolepis Cordifolia

    Kupupukupu (Nephrolepis spp.) are members of Lomariopsidaceae. There are several common naturalized swordferns and will hybridize with the native species. This is the only Nephrolepis species, or swordfern, in Hawaii that produce underground tubers on the stolons. The generic name Nephrolepis is derived from the Greek nephros, kidney, and lepis, […]

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  • Hau hele ula

    Kokia Cookei

    Kokia cookei is considered one of the rarest and most endangered plant species in the world. In 1910, a single living tree was discovered within the general area of the initial sighting and may in fact, have been one of theoriginal trees. In 1915, this last remaining wild specimen was […]

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  • Kalo-Taro

    Kalocasia spp.

    Hawaii primarily grows wetland taro, or kalo in Hawaiian, in patches (lo`i) These patches are directly irrigated from rivers or streams, which is beneficial, because taro thrives best in aerated moving water. They can tolerate swampy or marshy conditions and a fair level of acidity. Best adapted in warm, moist, […]

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  • Pa u o hiiaka

    Jacquemontia sandwicensis

    Pāʻuohiʻiaka is a member of the Morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), which comprises some 1,650 species throughout the world. Recently, this native plant has been raised to a specific level as Jacquemontia sandwicensis, where formely it was considered as an endemic subspecies. One non-native relative, the Skyblue clustervine (Jacquemontia pentantha), is […]

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  • Beach Mornining Glory

    Ipomoea pes-caprae

    The beach morning glory or Goat’s foot, is a common tropical creeping vine, belonging to the family of Convolvulaceae. It grows on the upper parts of beaches and endures salted air. It is one of the most common and most widely distributed salt tolerant plants and provides one of the […]

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  • Kokio keokeo

    Hibiscus Waimea

    Hibiscus waimeae is a small, gray-barked tree up to 30 feet tall. The upper surface of the leaves is light green while the lower surface is covered with velvety hairs which makes it appear grayish. The round or oval leaves are 2 to 7 inches long and 1 to 5 […]

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  • Kokio ulaula

    Hibiscus Kokio St Johnianus

    Restricted in dry to mesic forests on northwestern Kauaʻi. The generic name Hibiscus is derived from hibiscos, the Greek name for mallow. The specific and subspecific epithet kokio comes from the Hawaiian name for this hibiscus. The subspecies is named after Harold St. John (1892-1991), a professor of botany at […]

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  • Kokio kea

    Hibiscus arnottianus spp. immaculatus

    This subspecies of kokiʻo keʻokeʻo is extremely rare in its native habitat on Molokaʻi where the few remaining plants grow in wet to mesic forests (50-1600 ft.).The generic name Hibiscus is derived from hibiscos, the Greek name for mallow. The specific and subspecific epithets are named in behalf of George […]

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  • Kokio ula

    Hibiscus Clayii

    Kokiʻo ʻula is found in a few dry forests of eastern Kauaʻi. The generic name Hibiscus is derived from hibiscos, the Greek name for mallow. In 1928, Albert W. Duvel discovered several small hibiscus trees on Kauaʻi that were damaged by cattle. He brought them into cultivation, which proved to […]

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  • Hau kuahiwi

    Hibiscadelphus Distans

    Hibiscadelphus distans is a shrub or small tree that grows up to 5 meters tall. The leaves are heart-shaped, typically 4-10 cm in length, with irregular (rounded) serations on the margins. Both upper and lower leaf surfaces have branched stellate (star-shaped) hairs. Unlike most other Hawaiian members of the Mallow […]

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  • Nanu

    Gardenia Brighami

    Nāʻū or nānū (Gardenia brighamii) is one of several members of the Coffee family (Rubiaceae) native to Hawaii. The featured species and the two other endemic gardenias, G. mannii of Oʻahu, and G. remyi from Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island (Hilo and Puna districts), are all federally listed as […]

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  • Ukiuki

    Dianella Sandwicensis

    The genus Dianella, has gone through some family changes recently. Once was in the Lily family (Liliaceae). Then, in the Daylily family or Hermerocallidaceae. Now Dianella is placed in the Xanthorrhoeaceae. ʻUkiʻuki (D. sandwicensis) is the sole family representative native to the Hawaiian Islands. The generic name Dianella is from […]

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  • Hau Kuahiwi

    Hibicadelphus Haualalaiensis

    Hibiscadelphus hualalaiensis, of the mallow family (Malvaceae), is a tree 5 to 7 m (16 to 23 ft) tall with a trunk up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter and whitish bark. The leaf blades are heart‐shaped and 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) long with a […]

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  • Pamakani

    Viola chamissoniana

    Many species are specific to one island, or even—as with this white-flowered relative of garden-variety violets—a single mountain range. Endangered Viola chamissoniana can be found only on three remote, rocky ridges in Oahu’s Waianae Range.

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