Puna, kai nehe i ka ulu hala.

■ bota n y
U P CO M I N G E X H I B I T ■
Puna, kai nehe i ka ulu hala.
in the Castle Memorial Building
February 28 through Labor Day, September 7, 2015
Puna, where the sea murmurs to the hala grove. — ‘Ōlelo No‘eau #2745
by Clyde Imada
ABOVE | Hala fruit imprint in
lava flow, Puna coastline.
BELOW | Hala scale infestation
on leaf undersurface.
Ka ‘Elele Winter 2015
Hawaiian poetic literature is rich with references
to the outstanding hala groves in Hawai‘i Island’s Puna
district. So it was fitting that, while hiking along the
Puna coast near Hā‘ena Beach in 2000, we chanced upon
a remarkably clear imprint of a hala fruit (Pandanus
tectorius). The fruit had been partially encased in a
pāhoehoe lava flow, but had long rotted away to reveal
the remaining impression.
In 1993, a similar find was made along the Hanalei
coast of Kaua‘i, ending a difficult scientific debate on
whether hala first made its way to Hawai‘i as a propagule
aboard a voyaging vessel, or if it had already arrived
in the Islands prior to human habitation via oceanic
drift, made possible by its buoyant fruit. The Hanalei
discovery of a fossilized hala fruit imprint in an ancient
lava flow—later estimated to be over 1.2 million years
old—proved that the species was present in the Islands
long before humans arrived. Further proof of its native
status has also been cemented by findings of hala pollen
in prehuman archaeological layers going back 10,000
years at Māhā‘ulepū, Kaua‘i. Nevertheless, it’s very likely
that any forward-thinking Polynesian voyager seeking
to set up shop on an unknown island with unknown
resources would have included the hala among the
canoe’s propagating plant stores.
Bishop Museum’s dried, pressed herbarium col­
lections of Pandanus is world-renowned among plant
specialists. Dr. Tim Gallaher, a recent Ph.D. graduate of
the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s botany program,
extensively studied the Museum’s Pandanus specimens
for his degree work, and calls it the largest and most
comprehensive collection in the world for the breadth
of species and geographic areas represented. While
many major herbaria elsewhere contain two or three
full-sized herbarium cabinets of Pandanus specimens,
Bishop Museum’s Herbarium Pacificum holds over
40 cabinets of hala from all parts of its worldwide
distribution! The oldest Pandanus collections date
back to 1864.
A present threat to hala plants statewide is posed
by a tiny sucking insect called the hala scale, scientifi­
cally named Thysanococcus pandani. It was first noted
in Hāna, East Maui, in 1995. The infestation has now
spread island-wide throughout Maui’s hala groves.
The once lush, picturesque hala groves dominating the
windward coasts of East Maui have been reduced to
a shadow of their former glory—trees with yellowing,
deformed, stunted leaves covered with white “fluff,”
rendered use­less as weaving material for the lau hala
practitioner. The scale insect has been reported on
parts of northern Moloka‘i, and isolated areas on
O‘ahu have also been received.
If you suspect your hala plants have been
infested by hala scale you can investigate
further at www.reportapest.org or call the
statewide pest hotline at 643-pest.
LEFT | Botany
collections manager
Barbara Kennedy with
specimens from the
For nearly 190 million years, during the Mesozoic
Era, reptiles were the dominant class of animals on the
planet, evolving into hundreds of species of dinosaurs,
fast swimming marine reptiles, and taking to the sky as
soaring pterosaurs. Today, 65 million years after they
went extinct, these prehistoric monsters still spark
fascination in children of all ages.
Dinosaurs Unleashed features a wide variety of
animatronic prehistoric reptiles that walked, swam,
and flew over the Earth in the distant past. No dinosaur
show is complete without a Tyrannosaurus rex and this
exhibit is no exception.
The featured T. rex is three-quarters the size of
a full grown adult T. rex, measuring 12 feet tall and
22 feet long. The exhibit also includes other popular
dinosaurs such as a Stegosaurus; a 9-foot tall Triceratops;
the duck-billed dinosaur Maiasaurus; and the bulletheaded Pachycephalosaurus. Many dinosaurs on display are grouped in a series
of scenes to give visitors a better idea about how they
lived: a duck-billed dinosaur cares for her eggs; the
Triceratops tends to three of its young; and a pack of
carnivorous Deinonychus, cousins of the infamous
Velociraptor, attack a larger plant-eating Tenontosaurus.
Dinosaurs Unleashed also features other ancient creatures
that shared the Mesozoic with the dinosaurs: a long
necked ocean-going Elasmosaurus; the sharp-toothed
marine predator, Mosasaurus; and a flying Pteranodon.
Go on a dinosaur dig and reveal the fossilized
remains of a dinosaur in the excavation station. Get a
behind the scenes look at the animatronic technology
used to bring the animals to life by controlling the
movements of a duck-billed dinosaur robot. We’ll also
have stations to create colorful takeaway crayon art of
everyone’s favorite prehistoric creatures. Best of all,
the Gulab & Indru Watumull Gift Shop will have books,
posters, figurines, t-shirts, and more to satisfy the
budding paleontologist in your life.
Animatronic dinosaur exhibits are among the
most popular family-friendly exhibits brought in by the
Museum, especially for our members! Stay tuned, for
details of added special programming for children and
families visiting Dinosaurs Unleashed during the course
of the exhibit’s six-month run.
Watch for your invite
in the mail for the
Members Preview
Friday, February 27,
5:00–8:00 p.m.
Pandanus collection.
Ka ‘Elele Winter 2015