Photo of the Day

Hala Fruit

Apparently, the Hala fruit isn’t as nice as it looks:  

The fruit from the Hala is starchy and can be eaten but it is not very palatable. The overall fruit is made up of about 50 sections. When it is ripe these individual sections can be broken off. The Hawaiians used the sections as paint brushes to point tapa cloth.

It also has an uncanny resemblance to this

tec_001

Pandanus tectorius is a species of Pandanus (screwpine) that is native to Malesia, eastern Australia, and the Pacific Islands.  The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and is a major source of food in Micronesia, especially in the atolls. The fibrous nature of the fruit also serves as a natural dental floss. The tree’s leaves are often used as flavoring for sweet dishes such as kaya jam, and are also said to have medicinal properties. It is also used in Sri Lankan cookery, where the leaves are used to flavor a variety of curries. Leaves were used by the Polynesians to make baskets, mats, outrigger canoe sails, thatch roofs, and grass skirts.

Pandanus tectorius Warb.

The seal of Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii features the hala tree, in part because lauhala, the art of weaving with the leaves of that tree, is pivotal to the history of the island, with everything from houses to pillows being made in this fashion. Local legend tells of an aged Hawaiian couple who lived long ago above the present Punahou campus, and had to travel far for water. They prayed each night for a spring, but to no avail. Finally one night, in a dream answering their prayers, they were told to uproot the stump of an old hala tree. They did as they were told and found a spring of clear, sweet water, which they named Ka Punahou, the New Spring. According to legend, Punahou School’s lily pond is fed by this same spring.

 

Sources:  Wikipedia, Imgur

 


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  • James M

    I like these learning corner posts, keep up the good work.

    • I try, as time permits. But thanks :)

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