January 29, 2009

What Grows in Hawaii?

Answer - anything you plant! When we went on our tour of the botanic gardens the guide told us that there are different categories of plants on the island - 1. indigenous (there before people settled the island) 2. canoe plants (those that were literally brought to the island by settlers in canoes) 3. everything brought there since. Common plants like philodendron grow to enormous sizes along the roadways as do many other common house plants. You even see cactus since one of the caretaker's wives planted cactus from her native Arizona many years ago, the birds ate the flowers, dropped the seeds all over the island, and now it's growing everywhere. I imagine that's why you have to fill out an official form on the plane before you land in Hawaii - they want to know what you brought with you that might take hold and grow!

Nearly every home had some sort of exotic fruit tree growing in their yard. They were loaded with fruit in the middle of January! I guess the seasons really blur there. We truly enjoyed seeing the farmer's market offerings - and eating some of the best oranges and grapefruit we'd ever had. Plus the bananas there are really different. They're small but have this tangy flavor on top of the banana flavor - fantastic.

Most days a different community holds a farmer's market but there are also lots of stands in people's yards and along the roadsides.

I had never heard of some of the fruits - like a fuzzy red fruit called rambutan. You can just about make them out in the back bin in this picture. They sell them still attached to the branch.

This lei was at the farmer's market too - made from cigar flowers and tea leaves. I can't imagine how much time it take to make something like this.


Most things growing there are really beautiful...



And then some things are just truly strange!!


As promised, here is the link to the rest of the photos if you're interested. Hawaii 09 Pics
There are captions at the bottom of most pictures and if you want to look at them in the slide show format, be sure you run your mouse over the first photo to change the speed from 3 seconds to something a little longer or you won't have time to read my ramblings!

Well, this is all you'll hear about Hawaii then.

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