UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Publishes Guide to Growing Plants for Lei

Book features production and harvesting information on 85 different plants that can provide flowers or foliage for lei

University of Hawaiʻi
Kristen Cabral, (808) 956-5039
Public Information Officer
Miles Hakoda, (808) 956-3093
CTAHR Publications & Information Office
Posted: Apr 14, 2003

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) has published a book entitled "Growing Plants for Hawaiian Lei: 85 Plants for Gardens, Conservation and Business," which is now available, and just in time for Lei Day (May 1).

Two lei-making demonstrations using plants featured in the book are scheduled — Saturday, April 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Borders Ward Center, and Saturday, April 26, from noon to 2 p.m. at Borders Waikele. The public is invited and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

With the help of more than 45 contributors who collected and refined information over several years, this book contains information on growing 85 plants that can provide flowers or foliage for lei. Some are traditionally used native species; others are relatively new introductions with a potential place in the lei industry. The contributors include individuals from CTAHR, Leeward Community College, Lyon Arboretum Association, Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, Bishop Museum, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Foster Botanical Garden, and others, as well as many independent lei makers and lei book writers.

With a renaissance in Hawaiian culture sweeping the islands, growing plants that provide lei materials can be a source of pride and pleasure for the home gardener, an economic opportunity for green-thumb entrepreneurs, and can reduce gathering pressure on the few precious remaining areas of native Hawaiian vegetation.

In addition to the 170 pages detailing the plants, sections of the book provide useful basic plant production information and helpful tips for anyone wishing to get into the lei material business, whether it is in a small or large way. In a special section written for the book, two experts on Hawaiian tradition and native Hawaiian plants explain the spiritual and cultural significance of the lei and lei making in ancient Hawaiʻi. The authors highlight the ancient Hawaiian conservation ethic and concept of sustainable agriculture, a revival of which could help preserve the islands‘ threatened native ecosystems.

"Growing Plants for Hawaiian Lei" is available in local bookstores, and order forms are also available online at www.ctahr.hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu