Monday, December 22, 2008

Hawaiian Poinsettia in the Wild...well, kinda wild...

I say "Kinda" wild because it is really in my driveway, which can be pretty wild if I don't get out and hack back the growth!
This is what they look like when growing in a yard, a little blemished and crinkled but still striking just the same. I received this poinsettia about 2 years ago and left it in the pot since then (I know, how lazy am I!?), I stuck it in the ground about 2 months ago and this is how it rewards me! I guess it's happy to be able to stretch it toes!
Here is a very interesting article about Poinsettias, mine is growing at about 700' elevation in Puna District of Hawaii and the most amazing display of Poinsettias I have ever seen is along the Hwy in South Kona (West side of the Big Island), I really need to get (& post) a photos of that!
Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hawaiian Ohia Tree...

Often when reading articles about Hawaii you will run across mention of Ohia Trees, but rarely are there photos of these lovely trees. This one is in Fern Acres, they tend to be tall & slim but will branch from all levels. Here is a article with a lovely story about the Ohia Tree Legend.
They can bloom at almost any time throughout the year but do have heavier blooming seasons, and when the Lehua flowers are in bloom the bees just swarm! They love these flowers so much and it makes the best Honey! They also make lovely leis from the leaves & the red flowers, but my favorite is the Liko Lehua, the new keiki leaves on the young ohia are a dusty red and smooth textured, they really show up against the green green forest. And Ohias are very adaptable, In Kau (A dryer, wind swept region) the Ohias look like Bristol Cone pine, all gnarly & bent with rugged bark, in upper Puna (lush and moderate temps) they tend to be broader and taller, straight limbed trees). They are very slow growing and can be quite touchy to adverse outside elements (like lawnmowerimpactitise) but often are the first trees to become established on a lava flow and are one of the first plants period to grow on a lava field (not including lichen & such). Pretty amazing tree...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sour Hawaiian......Cucumber?

Don't they look like cucumbers? But they aren't, these are Bilimbi, a tropical fruit related to the star fruit.
We were offered some through Freecycle and went to a new friends house to pick them, what fun! And nowhere in all the articles I read did anyone truly explain how incredibly SOUR they are! Wow!!! I am not sure what to do with them? Good flavor but they could probably peel the paint off my car! I dipped them in salt (interesting flavor combo, kinda like salt & vinegar chips at the fair), I cooked them with sugar and they jelled up pretty good, but there was more sugar than Bilimbi at that point. I also tried to make a juice and that we were able to add to a cherry cool aide, it tasted similar to strawberry lemonade.
My friend has lots & lots, so if any one has a really good "recipe" please share...