Our pae ʻāina is home to 19 different species of loulu, a palm with fan-shaped fronds. [Note the lack of ʻokina or kahakō: loulu, rather than loʻulu]. All vary in general height: size, shape, and details of lau; fruit color and size; as well as fuzziness (or smoothness) of fronds.
Vast loulu (Pritchardia hillebrandii) forests grew near the shore, until ʻiole arrived. Hāwane, the edible fruits of loulu, are best eaten when immature. The fruits of loulu lelo, whose home is Molokaʻi, are yellowish to reddish-brown, and it is said their hāwane are the tastiest. ʻIole agree, and arenʻt picky. They devour hāwane of all species, making it impossible for the palm to regenerate.
Author’s note: Auē! I erred when I chose kou as the meakanu for April. Kou is a lāʻau kamaʻāina, native to these shores. It is not ʻāpaʻakuma (endemic – only found naturally in Hawaiʻi). My passion for lei and all things kou blinded me. E kala mai!