The importance of Ti plants in the Pacific – Marianas Variety

THE Ti plant, Cordyline fruticosa, is known in Hawaii as Ki, Siseleanged in Palauan, and Dihng pwetepwet in Pohnpei. Ti may have originated in tropical Asia and Australia. In Hawaii it was introduced by the earliest Polynesian settlers. It has also been grown in the Micronesian region.

Ti plants are commonly used in home or resort landscaping. In many Micronesia islands, Ti leaves are also used in many tropical flower arrangements, in grass skirts in Micronesia, hula skirts in Hawaii, and leis for special occasions.

The plant has several varieties that include yellow, green, black and purple leaves.

The leaves can be used to store food, wrap gifts or ground tapioca before it is steamed which is the practice in Palau and in Polynesia.

In Hawaii, the waterproof leaves are made into rain capes. They can also be woven into sandals or thatch roofs. They can be used as sleds to slide down grassy slopes or woven into mats. Moreover, the roots can be pounded to make a dye for decorating surf boards.

In Hawaii, boiled roots can be fermented to make liquor called okolehao. The root can be baked to make a sweet dessert while the leaves are used as plates to serve food.

According to Linda Pascatore of Island Breath, Ti or Ki has medicinal uses. “The leaves are made into a tea for sore muscles. Steam from boiled leaves and stems acts as a decongestant. Flowers are used to treat asthma. Leaves dipped in water can be used as a compress on the forehead to treat headaches, and can also be used as bandages. The leaves can be wrapped around hot stones and applied for aches and pains.”

Palauans natives said Ti leaves can bring down a fever. Another Micronesian said drinking boiled green Ti leaves can aid nerve and muscle relaxation.

Source: Google News :

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