Hawaii has a number of plants and animals that are found nowhere else on the planet. It also has a number of plants and animals that have either come here on their own or been brought here by people that now consider Hawaii a second home. Today I would like to share a few of these remarkable plants with you.
The Haleakala Silversword is incredibly rare, it is only found in one place in the entire world, on the summit of mount Haleakala on the island of Maui. It is a very interesting plant that has thin silver colored leaves that look almost like nails sticking out of the stalk of the plant. The leaves are arranged in a circular pattern around the stalk, which grows straight up. It is well worth visiting Haleakala, to see a Silversword, as its crater is an interesting place. It almost looks like the surface of the moon, except for the Silverswords.
The anthurium is not native to Hawaii. In fact, it originally comes from South America and it was brought here in 1850. But Hawaii has done a lot to popularize anthurium flowers. In the 1950s, anthurium growers started developing many of the varieties that we see today. Now you can find heart shaped, tulip shaped or even obake shaped anthuriums and they come in many different colors. When you visit Hawaii, be sure to check out an anthurium farm.
Sandalwood is found in India, Australia and across the Pacific. It was once plentiful in Hawaii, but it was almost wiped out by the Sandalwood trade. The reason Sandalwood is so popular is that it produces a beautiful wood that also smells great. It is often used to build small items like jewelry boxes and chess pieces and its scent lasts for years.
Noni is native to South East Asia and Australia and is widely distributed around the Pacific, including Hawaii. The fruit of the Noni has a horrible smell and taste, sometimes it is called the vomit fruit. In some places it is only eaten when there is nothing else left to eat, when people are on the verge of starving. Here in Hawaii, it is used in traditional medicine. And it appears that scientists are also becoming interested in its medicinal properties. Now there are a number of research studies in progress.