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Where you'll find plants:
Everywhere 1
Everywhere 2
Wet Side

Upcountry 1
Upcountry 2


Banana - ma'ia
Breadfruit - 'ulu
Coconut Palm


(Musa paradisiaca)

Long ago, Hawaiian women were severely punished for eating a banana. No more. Interesting to watch the blossom unfold and turn into hands of fruit. The 'apple' banana you can find in local stores and health food shops is our favorite.


(Artocarpus altilis)

Beautiful, indented glossy leaves make this tree easy to spot. The big green, lobed fruit is baked or boiled and even made into chips.


Coconut Palm

(Cocos nucifera)

Coconut palms are everywhere. For Pacific Islanders, they were the staff of life, providing food, shelter,clothing and so on. Stop at a roadside stand for a drink of fresh coconut water.

Passion Fruit


(Psidium gualava)

Guavas are a weed plant that grows in fields and along the highways on the Road to Hana. Pick the bright yellow fruit a little soft. They're sweet and tasty but acidic. Scrape out the pink flesh, strain and you have juice. Forget taking any back to the mainland with you. They are loaded with fruit flies.

Passion Fruit


The form of the flower suggested the sufferings of Christ to Spanish settlers of America. They are a common sight and the fruit juice used in many refreshing drinks.



Brought in canoes by the Polynesian settlers, taro was and still is the Hawaiian starch. The root is peeled, boiled, mashed and fermented into poi. This one (there are 200 varieties) is in the Kepanawai Gardens in the Iao Valley.




(Ananas comosus)

Pineapples were brought here from Brazil in the late 1700's and soon commercialized. There are about 14,000 acres in cultivation, spread out along the slopes of the volcanoes. You can tour the canneries and take a tour into the fields, if you wish.

Pineapple Field

Sugar Cane

Early Hawaiians brought the first sugar cane but the sons of missionaries commercialized it, bringing water from Hana side to irrigate the fields. Just before harvesting, the fields are burned to get rid of everything but the stalks which are hauled to the mill for crushing. The cane fires are spectacular but the smoke and little flakes of blackened leaf (Maui Snow) are polluting. The price of the sweetening on your cereal.

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Much bigger photos on our Maui HI! Tour Guide CD-ROM


revised 4/15/02
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