Our state tree: Kukui or loulu?

Pritchardia thurstonii growing on coral rock in Lau Islands of Fiji. This species is popular in Hawaii where it grows in rocky soils exposed to salty, windy or dry locations. (Voltaire Moise/Courtesy Photo)

If you are truly interested in conservation, chose to protect one of our most unique plant species, the genus Pritchardia. If you think coconut palms, kukui, bananas, taro and ti are natives and seem to grow easily, then it is time to rethink. These plants are alien, nonnative species brought to Hawaii by the Polynesians as they migrated across southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean. These are referred to as canoe plants.