Maui Attractions Newsletter
Monstera, Swiss Cheese Plant
The Monstera vine was once lumped among the Philodendron species but is now recognized as a separate genus. M. deliciosa, also called the Swiss cheese plant, is the largest of the group. The characteristic holes in the leaves are caused by genetically programmed dying of he leaf surface. Certain patches of the leaf cells dry and split as the rest continue to grow. It is one of several "taro vines" growing in Hawai'i and is related to the common taro, the philodendron, the 'ape (elephant ear), the diffenbachia and the caladium.
The plant was first collected in the wild from Central America and is now a popular house plant as well as a striking addition to any tropical garden. The plants no longer can be found growing wild in their native forests. Deforestation has taken its toll.
At first the vine produces simple, heart-shaped leaves, but as it grows these become increasingly large, dark green and perforated. The huge, multifingered, leathery leaves can reach a size of two to three feet long on three foot stems.
Periodically it produces a flower that is a green spike that is encased by a white, waxy bract. The spike eventually becomes a long, multi-berried, phallic-looking fruit which, when ripe and mushy, has a taste resembling a cross between a pineapple, a banana, and a soursop. The fruit can grow to about 8 inches by 2 inches. It has a yellow-green rind, sometimes with violet spots, the hexagonal-plated surface covering a creamy, white soft pulp.
Unripe fruit contain calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate the tongue and throat. They should not be eaten. (Calcium oxalate is a non-absorbable salt of oxalic acid. It is a colorless, crystalline, potentially poisonous organic acid that is found in many common food plants, like spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, grapes and sweet potato. The human body produces its own oxalic acid and some kidney stones contain calcium oxalate.)
Monstera vines may take up to six years to begin producing fruit. It takes 12 to 14 months for the fruit to form and ripen from the time the flowers open. Flowers and fruits of varying ages may be found on the same plant. (If they are kept indoors in pots, the monstera will not flower or fruit.)
Monstera prefers shady, moist conditions and a strong tree or other support against which to grow. Eventually the woody vine can climb high into the trees until it is 100 or more feet above the ground or ramble over a large area of ground. When it climbs into the trees, the vine grows long aerial roots which do not always reach the ground.
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Hana Beach Park
Hana Beach Park is located on the shoreline of Hana Bay. The ancient name for the bay was Kapueokahi, "the single owl." One legend says that Kapueokahi was a supernatural being, a shape-changing kupua who could take the form of a human or of an animal. Kapueokahi wanted to marry a woman named Kapoulakinau and changed himself from an owl to a man in order to woo her. This incident took place in Kawaipapa, a district in Hana that has its seaward edge on the bay. From that time on, the bay as well as its lone sand beach was called Kapueokahi.
Another legend says the beach was so-named because of a famous owl owned by chief Peapea who would fly to the chief's door to let him know whenever a crowd congregated on the beach.
It is said that there were large sea caves in the area, where the fishermen's canoes were stored.
Facilities in the beach park include a pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms and showers and an abandoned boat ramp that was the former site of the Hana Ranch Company boathouse. The enclosed pavilion inland from the beach road was donated to the County of Maui by the Hana Ranch in 1977 and is used by the Hana Community Association.
The brown detrital sand beach along the bay is about 700 feet long and 100 feet wide. It is bordered on the north by a lava point and the pilings of the old Hana Landing.
A seawall along the coast protects the park behind it from erosion. Offshore, the sand slopes very gently to the outer reefs in the bay. It is one of the safest swimming beaches in the district of Hana.
One legend says there was once a handsome chief from Tahiti who came with his followers to the bay of Kapueokahi at Hana. This chief wanted to surf but found no waves, so he asked the gods to bring waves so he could surf. The gods did this and he began to surf. On the shore were two young girls who saw the chief and fell in love with him. Hoping to attract his attention, both girls, standing at opposite ends of the beach, each removed their wrapping pa'u. The chief was so startled by this ploy that he stopped before reaching the shore. And that's why, they say, the surf of Keanini does not go beyond a certain point to this day. Two points on either side of the beach are named for the girls in this story. The point nearest the Ka'uiki cinder cone is called Popolana, the other, Pokuolae.
On any given day, there are many families playing in the waters off the beach. Even during periods of heavy surf, usually only a gentle shore break will form inshore. The currents along the shore are negligible.
On the south end of the park is a large T-shaped pier that provides about 300 feet of berthing space for small craft and commercial tugs and barges. Because the site is unprotected from the open ocean, the waters are generally too rough for the commercial vessels now serving the neighbor islands and the wharf is no longer used for interisland shipping.
At the end of World War II, the sugar plantations began closing down. It was then that the Hana Ranch came into existence. Stories are told of cattle driven through town down to the bay to be loaded on ships. At every driveway along the route a paniolo, cowboy stood guard to make sure the cattle didn't trespass too badly. The animals were herded into the bay and out onto the wharf. Sometimes, they'd break away and run across the beach and into the water. The cowboys followed them in and kept right on herding them in the water as they had on the land.
Since 1927, Hana has been connected to the rest of Maui by a road which evolved into the Hana Highway. Nowadays, the deep-draft harbor in Kahului is within relatively easy reach and the wharf at Hana Bay is no longer needed for the supply ships that used to come. Supplies are trucked into town instead.
To the south of the pier is a legendary volcanic cinder cone called Ka'uiki. Folklorist Thomas G. Thrum says, "Kauiki is not a grand hill to look at. In its outline or profile it resembles the head of a moi (fish) diving into the ocean. On its northeast is the dark cliff of Mapuwena, and at its base is the slippery sand of Kapueo-kahi by the ship's harbor and the surf of Keanini."
For a number of reasons, the districts of East Maui (Ko'olau, Hana, Kipahulu and Kaupo) were governed separately from the rest of the island of Maui. At one time the chiefs, who were mostly from the Big Island, were headquartered on the naturally fortified hill of Ka'uiki. As a result, there are many stories connected with this unprepossessing hill and the surrounding countryside.
One is a story that gives the hill the name Pu'u Ki'i, "Image Hill." On the west side of Ka'uiki, is the trail by which it can be climbed. A huge wooden image was erected there in the 18th century by one of the chiefs, Kalaniopu'u from the Big Island, to intimidate Maui chief Kahekili's forces who were trying to invade the fortified hill. This trick worked for a while, until one chief of an invading force, Pi'imaiwa'a, rapped the statue on the head with the tip of his club and heard the sound of wood striking wood. He struck his club with force then until the image fell down onto the sands of Kapueokahi. Kahekili won the battle for the hill by cutting off the defenders' water supply.
Several heiau (war temples) was said to have been built in the vicinity as well.
The hill was a natural lookout. In less fearsome times, until relatively recently, a kilo i'a, fish spotter, would be posted on Ka'uiki to watch for schools of mullet, akule, that swam into the harbor. When the akule were running, the fish spotter alerted the village using hand signals or white flags and shouting. Everyone turned out for a hukilau, a community-wide setting of the long nets which would encircle the school of fish and draw them into shore for harvesting. All of the people shared in this bounty.
The hukilau was eventually replaced by a handful of men using Citizen Band radio links with a spotter and small boats. One boat is used to drop the net around the fish. A second boat is used to frighten the fish into the net where they are caught and hauled aboard.
Ka'uiki Light was established on Pu'u Ki'i in 1908. This automatic light can be easily reached for servicing but is off-limits to the general public. The currents outside the lighthouse are very powerful and flow out to the sea.
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We hope you enjoyed our Upcountry Maui information. Now we will continue our journey to North Maui.
Pā’ia Town is best known as the place where the first sugar plantation was formed.
Kaulahao is the most popular area in Kū’au. Locally its frequently pronounced as Kalahao.
Lamalani is a small cove in Kū’au Bay that is better known today as Tavares Bay.
Ho’okipa is one of Maui’s best known shoreline landmarks. It is also well known for contemporary surfing. Contemporary surfing got started on Maui at Ho’okipa in the early 1930’s.
Kailua is a small bay in the Hā’iku area that has a rocky shore.
Also known as Jaws
There are many open bays from Māliko to Honomanū. Most of these bays are not reachable by land and if they are, it’s only by a very dangerous climb with using rope or clable to get down the cliffs. The bays include:
In the backshore of the bay, there is a small grove of Hala (Pandanus) trees.
Also known as watercress bay
Also known as Keone or Blacksand beach
Also known as Kākipi because of the gulch inland and is often labeled as Pīlae on maps.
Between Māliko and Honomanū, there are a couple of bays that are fairly rechable by land. These bays include:
Ke’anae is considered one of the most famous taro-producing areas on Maui. It is said that it was the name of a Royal taro patch.
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STANDARD: It's no wonder he's gotten so heavy!
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STANDARD: I'm sorry. I hope I didn't offend you.
If luau leaves are picked the day before you plan to cook the lau lau, make sure you soak the leaves in water until you are ready to prepare the lau lau. To prepare the luau leaves, strip the outer skin of stem and leaf veins, then wash thoroughly. This procedure is important because it prevents itching of the throat when consumed.
To prepare ti leaves, remove tough ribs from center of leaf and wash thoroughly. Cut pork and salmon into 6 pieces. Take 4 luau leaves and layer them on top of each other. On the center of luau leaves, add 1 piece of pork and 1 piece of salmon with a pinch of Hawaiian salt over each. Fold luau leaves over meat and fish to form a bundle. Place bundle on one end of a ti leaf and roll. Repeat with another ti leaf in the opposite direction. Once the ti leaves are covering the bundle, wrap it in tin foil.
Place the wrapped lau lau in a steamer with water at the bottom and steam for about 4-5 hours. Be sure to check water periodically. Add more if it evaporates.
Makes about 6 lau lau
Dice the salmon, onions, tomatoes, and green onions into small pieces. Place ingredients in a bowl and gently combine with fingers. In the Hawaiian language, lomi means massage, so it's as if you are gently massaging the ingredients together. Taste salmon and add salt if necessary.
Chill in refrigerator. Prior to serving add a cup of crushed ice over lomi salmon.
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