Ti Plant

Cordyline fruticosa

An Ancient Hawaiian Spiritual Plant

Ti plants, unlike like the tea you drink, were plants brought to the Hawaiian islands by early Polynesians. In fact, the plant was spread all throughout Polynesia and cultivated for its spiritual uses and for its starchy rhizomes. But imagine this Dr. Suess-like plant having leaves that only the Hawaiian chiefs were allowed to wear around their necks.

In Hawaii, rhizomes are fermented and distilled to make okolehao, a liquor.

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Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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