ʻUlu cv. ‘Maʻafala’

Hawaiian name: ʻUlu
Botanical name: Artocarpus altilis
Family: Moraceae (Mulberry)
Status: Polynesian-introduced
Where found: Throughout the Pacific
Water/Light: Dry, with full sun exposure
Elevation range: Up to 2,000 ft.
Height: The Hawaiian ʻUlu variety can grow 50+ ft, with a 40ft spread

‘Ulu (breadfruit) trees begin bearing fruit in 3 to 5 years, and are productive for many decades. The starchy, potato-like, fruit is harvested when firm and exuding sap. At that stage, it can be made into a variety of tasty dishes. Breadfruit is a great source of calcium, and is high in vitamins A and B. The trunk can be used for making pahu (drums), papa he‘e nalu (surfboards), and papa ku‘i ‘ai (poi pounding boards). Medicinally, a remedy to treat koko‘ino (bad blood) was made with ‘ulu, and the sticky latex was used as glue to caulk canoes and to catch birds. Yellow, tan and brown kapa dyes can be made from the male inflorescence of ‘ulu. Traditionally, `ulu is planted at the birth of a child to provide a life-time of food.

‘Ōlelo Noeau:

ʻAʻohe ʻulu e loaʻa i ka pōkole o ka lou.
No breadfruit can be reached when the picking stick is too short.
Meaning: there is no success without preparation.

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

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A Few Native Hawaiian Plants from the MNBG Collection