Wiliwili Seeds: Hawaiian Tradition or Modern Medicine?

Have you ever seen a necklace or a bracelet made of colorful and shiny seeds? Chances are, you have encountered wiliwili seeds, the seed of a native Hawaiian tree that has many uses and benefits. Wiliwili seed’s are not only beautiful and durable, but also have cultural and ecological significance. This blog post will inquire into what These seed are, their uses, and the reasons for their significance.

Wiliwili Seeds

What are Wiliwili Seeds?

Wiliwili seed are the seed of the wiliwili tree, also known as Erythrina sandwicensis, a species of flowering tree that belongs to the pea family. The name wiliwili means “twisted” or “winding” in Hawaiian, referring to the shape of the tree’s branches and pods. The wiliwili tree grows up to 15 meters tall and has bright green leaves and clusters of red, orange, yellow, or white flowers. The flowers produce long, brown, and woody pods that contain several seeds.

The seed are the most distinctive feature of the wiliwili’s tree. The seeds have an oval shape, measure about 1.5 centimeters in length, and possess a hard and smooth surface.The seeds come in various colors, such as red, orange, yellow, green, brown, black, or white. The color of the seeds depends on the variety of the tree, the soil, and the climate. The seeds are also very light, weighing only about 0.2 grams each.

How Do People Use Wiliwili’s Seed?

Wiliwili seed’s have many uses, both practical and decorative. Some of the most common uses are:

FeaturesUses
JewelryWiliwili seeds are often used to make necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other accessories. The seeds are easy to drill and string, and their vibrant colors make them attractive and eye-catching. Wiliwili seed jewelry is popular among locals and tourists alike, as it represents the beauty and diversity of Hawaii.
FishingWiliwili seeds are also used to make fishing floats, or pōpō, in Hawaiian. The seeds are hollowed out and filled with air, making them buoyant and lightweight. The floats are attached to fishing lines and hooks, and used to catch fish in shallow waters. Wiliwili seed floats are considered to be more effective and eco-friendly than plastic or metal floats.
MedicineWiliwili seeds have some medicinal properties, such as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic effects. The seeds can be crushed and applied to wounds, burns, or insect bites, to reduce pain and infection.
These seeds can also be boiled and drunk as a tea, to treat fever, diarrhea, or stomach problems. However, wiliwili seeds are also toxic in large doses, and can cause nausea, vomiting, or even death. Therefore, wiliwili seeds should be used with caution and under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.
Wiliwili Seeds
Wiliwili Seeds
Wiliwili Seeds

Wiliwili Seed’s Importance

Wiliwili seed’s are not only useful and beautiful, but also have cultural and ecological importance. Some of the reasons why wiliwili seed’s are important are:

Culture

Wiliwili seed’s are part of the Hawaiian culture and history. Native Hawaiians have utilized the seeds for centuries, employing them in various capacities such as fishing, medicine, and art.
Wiliwili seed’s hold cultural significance, tied to legends like Hiʻiaka’s tale, where she used a lei made of these seed’s to shield herself from the anger of Pele, the volcano goddess. Additionally, wiliwili seed’s symbolize love, friendship, and loyalty, frequently exchanged as meaningful gifts or offerings.

Ecology

Wiliwili seed’s are also important for the Hawaiian ecosystem and biodiversity. The wiliwili tree is one of the few native trees that can survive in dry and harsh environments, such as lava fields and coastal areas. The tree provides shade, shelter, and food for many animals, such as birds, insects, and rodents.

The tree also helps to prevent soil erosion and conserve water. The wiliwili tree is also a host plant for the endangered Blackburn’s sphinx moth, a large and rare moth that pollinates the tree’s flowers.

Conclusion

Wiliwili seed’s are the colorful and versatile seed of a native Hawaiian tree that has many uses and benefits. These seeds are not only beautiful and durable, but also have cultural and ecological significance.

Appreciating and protecting wiliwili’s seeds is essential, as they represent a unique and valuable resource. If you ever visit Hawaii, you may want to buy some wiliwili’s seed jewelry or try some wiliwili seed tea, and experience the charm and wonder of these amazing seed. Aloha! 🌺

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