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Healing the Traditional Native Plant Garden

Mala Lapaʻau

Rick Kaponowaiwaiola Barboza from Hui Kū Maoli Ola shares his wealth of knowledge about Native Hawaiian plants as a regular speaker at Mala Lapaʻau, every 2nd Tuesday of the month in the JABSOM garden. Mele Look, part of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, helps organize and coordinate plant related activities including planting, cleaning the garden, and learning Native Hawaiian nomenclature.

Approximately 100 native Hawaiian plant species no longer exist in the wild, and only a handful have been saved in cultivation. Of the remaining 552 Hawaiian plant species that are rare, 150 have fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild, and those numbers are decreasing every year. Hui Kū Maoli Ola and their partners are hopeful that though teaching and public awareness, these endemic and native species will thrive for the next generation to enjoy and embrace.


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