Hike Coordinator Plant Hike with Kenjiman
Mahalo to HTMC Member Ken Suzuki (AKA Kenjiman) for leading the Hike Coordinators on a plant hike. The idea behind this excursion was to both keep our Hike Coordinators informed and show our appreciation to these invaluable HTMC volunteers. It was a beautiful, although hot and muggy October day along the Manoa Cliffs Trail. The views of the Ko’olau Summit and beyond were breathtaking and along the way we learned about native and invasive plants.
Pictured above are a few of the many indigenous and endemic (plants found only Hawai’i) plants that we saw along the way: a few lobelia’s were in bloom along with ‘ie ‘ie, koki’o ke’oke’o (white hibiscus), a hidden patch of rare native laua’e also known as pe‘ahi (snake skin ferns), and a big patch of olona (whose stems were used by the Hawaiians to make the strongest fiber in world). Other natives along the trail were; Koa, ‘Ohi’a lehua, Mamaki, Kopiko, Hapu’u, ‘Ala’a, Naupaka Kuahiwi (mountain Naupaka), Lama Trees, and last but not least Uluhe!
Kenji handed out his plant booklets and shared a guide on the Manoa Cliffs Trail. The guide listed some of the plants that had markers along the trail. We had fun searching for the often hidden, high up and moss covered markers. We stopped periodically as Kenji pointed out native and invasive plants and gave us tips on how to recognize and remember the plant names. We learned how to tell the difference between the most common and fastest growing invasive plants; shoebutton ardisia, fiddlewood and night blooming jasmine.
Some other invasive plants that Kenji pointed out along the Manoa Cliffs trail included: clidemia (Koster’s curse), Queensland maple, Koka, Hilo Holly (another type of ardisia sometimes called Coralberry), palm grass, black bamboo, trumpet tree, Brazilian Pepper (Christmas Tree Berry), Cinnamon Tree, Albezia, Kahili Ginger, Octopus Tree, and Toona (Australian Red Cedar). So as not to be discouraged, Kenji shared with the group that when he was learning about plants from his mentor Kost Pankiwskyj, his goal was to learn just one plant every hike. Let’s all make that a goal!
Kenji’s plant hike was an enriching experience for all of the Hike Coordinators who were able to attend. At the end of the hike we were rewarded with Justin Ohara’s delicious and refreshing fruit salad. Special mahalo to Kenji and the Hike Safety Committee members who joined the hike to help keep the coordinators informed and up to date. If you’d like to join this dedicated group, apply to be a Hike Coordinator, CLICK HERE to learn more.