Ultimately, the only wealth that can sustain any community, economy or nation is derived from the photosynthetic process – green plants growing on regenerating soil.Allan Savory

The name Makawao means the “forest beginning” and is known as a transitional climate zone between the dryer elevation below and wetter regions above. This area was described as having been heavily forested with Mesic forest species such as ‘Iiiahi (sandalwood), koa, ohi’a, halapepe.

Endemic and Polynesian-introduced plants growing in this area were wiliwili, pepeiao, ‘ape, neneleau (Hawaiian Sumac), kolea, kukui, kalo, uala and palapalai (fern). Hawaiian cultural practices and farming methods were fully self-sustaining and are synonymous with regenerative farming. It is our intention is to design and plant a native species corridor curving through the middle length of HNM with the hope of restoring a sense of how the landscape used to be and entice native birds back down to this elevation.


Native Habitat
Reforestation | Ohi‘a

‘Ohi’a-lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) is the most common native forest tree species in the Hawaiian Islands and with koa formerly likely cloaked the area now part of the Hōkū Nui project. Wood, flowers, branches, and leaves of `hi`a lehua have religious value to early Hawaiians.  Flowers are used in making lei.


Native Habitat
Restoration | Koa

Koa (Acacia koa), second only to ‘ohi’a-lehua in numbers, is the tallest native tree in the archipelago. Used today in fine woodworking, formerly, large koa logs were the primary wood used in constructing wa’a (canoe).


Native Habitat
Restoration | Kukui

Kukui (Aleurites moluccana) is one of a couple of dozen original ‘canoe plants’, that is, plant species deliberately introduced by early waves of colonizing Hawaiians. Kukui nuts, bark, and leaves were used in dyes, tattoos, medicinally and also as a source of oil for early lighting. As such, kukui also developed a kaona (hidden meaning or associated trait) of that of enlightenment.


Native Habitat
Reforestation | Naio

Naio (Myoporum sandwicense) is not a true sandalwood but in similar fashion has scented heartwood though the scent quickly fades. It is a species primarily of leeward slopes and its presence in the Hōkū Nui area is a sign of the areas ecological amplitude.


Native Habitat
Restoration | Alahee

Alahe’e (Psydrax odorata) is another plant associated with leeward slopes that formerly could have been found on the Hōkū Nui property. Alahe`e is used medicinally and has very hard wood, valued for agricultural tools for its durability.


Native Habitat
Restoration | Hapuu

Hapu`u (Cibotium spp.), likely formerly were a dominant and important part of the understory of wetter sections of the Hōkū Nui property. It was used as a famile food by early Hawaiians.


Native Habitat
Restoration | Mamaki

Mamaki (Pipturus albidus), along with wauke, are the most important compents of clothing for early Hawaiians. Its leaves also act as a host plant for the State insect, the brightly colored Kamehameha butterfly or pulelehua.