Tropical Gardening: Canoe plants are the foundation of the Polynesian culture

The brilliant flowers and delicious fruit of the mountain apple make this tree introduced by the Polynesians centuries ago a popular addition to almost any Hawaiian garden. (Courtesy photo/Voltaire Moise)

If you are looking for tough, resilient and useful plants to develop a new landscape or enhance an established one, consider the first introductions by the Polynesians. Then look forward to other introductions by each culture and ethnic group to make our islands their home.