Ti Leaf Tips

Ti Leaf Tips: the ti plant, also referred to as ‘Ki’ isn’t “tea” at all, but a member of the lily family with a distinctive cluster of large, glossy, dark green leaves on a stalk that can grow up to ten feet high. Ti is a “canoe plant,” or one of the few plants the first Hawaiians brought thousands of miles across open ocean to their new home. The leaves and roots of this important plant appeared everywhere in ancient Hawaiian life. If it rained, you might put on a ti leaf cloak. You might have eaten food cooked inside the strong, flexible leaves, or been blessed with a ti leaf in a sacred ceremony.

There were many other uses for the ti plant in old Hawai’i. The boiled roots were brewed into a potent liquor known as ‘okolehao. The large, sweet starchy roots were baked and eaten as a dessert. This versatile plant also had many medicinal uses, either alone or as a wrapping for other herbs needing to be steamed or boiled. The ti leaves were wrapped around warm stones to serve as hot packs, used in poultices and applied to fevered brows. A drink from boiled green ti leaves were used to aid nerve and muscle relaxation. Steam from boiled young shoots and leaves made an effective decongestant. The pleasantly fragrant flowers were also used for asthma. Besides its use in healing practices, the large ti leaves became roof thatching, wrappings for cooking food, plates, cups, fishing lures on hukilau nets, woven into sandals, hula skirts, leis and rain cape.
a beautiful bright green ti leaf with its pointed tip

Tropical Macro Flora Photography

Tropical macro flora photography makes beautiful images, sometimes even abstract. The colorful and delicate details of these flowers are highlighted in the very close up imagery, often closer than we typically view flowers. This particular image is of a hibiscus flower, which are very common in tropical or generally warm climates. They are prolific and can be found throughout the Hawaiian island at homes, business and resorts.

If you enjoy view close ups of colorful tropical flowers, visit the flora gallery

red hibiscus flower macro photo

The Grand Wailea Resort


The Grand Wailea Resort is in itself a tourist attraction, not to mention a luxurious place to stay while on a Maui vacation. It’s expansive, lavish and well manicured grounds showcase waterfalls, swimming and reflection pools, indoor and outdoor sculptures, flower gardens and lush tropical foliage plus a world class white sand beach. One of the most delightful sights on the grounds is the seaside Wedding Chapel, often used for ‘getting Maui’d’ as many a couple come to Maui for their wedding ceremony.

The hotel was built by Japanese developer Takashi Sekiguchi, who also put together a large art collection for the hotel. It opened in 1991 as the Grand Hyatt Wailea. The hotel was built at an estimated cost of $650 million, which proved to be more than the economy could sustain, and Sekiguchi lost control of the property, which was sold for $263 million in 1998. The property has been sold several times since then and it is now operated by Hilton Worldwide. It was the first hotel to join Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts in 2006 after the Manhattan hotel became a brand. It is the second largest hotel on the island of Maui and is one of Hawaii’s most well known resorts.

The Hana Coastline

The Hana Coastline offers some of Maui’s most pristine scenery. From Hamoa Beach to Koki Beach to Wainapanapa, and points in between, you are sure to see some of Maui’s most cherished beach and shoreline areas. Depending on the weather, these areas can be extraordinarily inviting, or ominous and dangerous with rough seas and strong currents. Even then though, the scenery is breathtaking and those who visit Maui often have a trip to Hana high on their list of activities to do. The following is an excerpt from a travel site about ‘Heavenly Hana’:


“Hana, isolated from the rest of the island, is truly the last undeveloped tropical paradise on Maui. Picturesque views of spectacular waterfalls, the rugged Hana shoreline, and some of the best beaches on the island can only begin to describe what awaits you on this journey. The 52 mile trip from Kahului Airport will take 2-4 hours depending on how often you stop along the Narrow, Winding Hana Highway (560). Explore the various parks and lookouts as you drive through Maui’s only coastal rainforest accessible by car. The charm of Hana is the fact that little has changed over the last 20 years. Untouched by the major developments of the other side of the island, the Hana community has managed to perpetuate the small town atmosphere, Hawaiian culture and most of all, its natural scenic beauty.”

The Rare Blossoming Silversword Plant


Plants which grow at the high elevations on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii (11,000 – 12,000 feet) and Haleakala on Maui (9,000 – 10,000 feet) are particularly adapted to little rainfall, harsh weather, a huge ultra-violet impact from the sun and a cindery substrate that holds little water.One of the most uniquely adapted plants in this alpine zone is the rare blossoming silversword plant, also knows as ‘ahinahina’. The leaves are thick and groove-shaped for catching rain. They are covered with a mat of tiny silver hairs that both reflect the heat of the sun and absorb whatever moisture there is from the passing mists.

Some ‘ahinahina’ live up to 50 years before flowering once and dying.

The Hawaiian word hinahina means “silver” or “gray.” At one time ‘ahinahina’ were so abundant on the volcanic mountain slopes that Hawaiian paniolos, ie.,cowboys, sang songs about the blinding glare from the reflection of the sun on their leaves.

The ‘ahinahina’ or silversword is found only on the islands of Maui and Hawai‘i.

Originally widespread across the lower elevations of these volcanic slopes, the plant was victim, like so many others, to the browsing and rooting of cattle, sheep and goats that were introduced to the islands in the late 18th century. Once common as low as 6,000 feet, the ‘ahinahina were pushed further up the mountain because of the increasing numbers of grazing animals. By 1920, surviving ‘ahinahina’ were seen only at higher elevations (10,000 -12,000 feet) on steep cliff faces or rocky shelves, where goats and sheep couldn’t go.