Hawaii’s Hapuu Ferns


Hapuu Coiled Fern Fronds

OK, I know what you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal about a fern?” I’ll tell you what the big deal is. These ferns are giants! These ferns are massive in comparison to the ferns you’ll find in the garden section of your local home improvement or DIY store. The Hapuu Fern (also known as the Hawaiian Tree Fern) can grow to a height of 25 feet with individual fronds reaching up to nine feet long, per the University of Hawaii. (Click here to see a photo of a fully grown Hapuu Fern.)

You’ll likely find these impressive ferns in the rain forest climates of Hawaii. We took the photo (above) in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park near the Thurston Lava Tube. The photo shows the young coiled fronds. To help get a perspective of the size of these coils, they are a bit larger than the size of an adult’s outstretched hand. Pretty big, huh?

9 comments
  1. Wow, great photo. Reminds me of my childhood adventures exploring the rainforests of Hilo. I think I’ll find myself a fern salad next time I’m back in town.

    Mahalo for sharing the photo!

  2. Hi Sterling – I’m glad the photo brought back good memories. Fern salad? Sounds interesting! I’ve not seen that on a menu yet, but I’d like to give it a try.

  3. I love Hapu’u and have dozens on our property, and we are surrounded by hundreds of more tree ferns…after all we do live in the middle of a Hawaiian rainforest on the Big Island.

  4. What a great photo! It looks like from outerspace with the furry stuff around the coils. Hawaii is filled with some pretty great plants that we don’t see in the states.

  5. @ HVG – I bet your property is gorgeous!
    @ Todd – LOL – those coiled fronds do look like something from outer space.

  6. what kinda of animals eat these types of ferns?

  7. These look so surreal. This is why we need to treasure the habitats, there are just amazing plants and creatures in every corner!

  8. kristen – the wild pigs will eat the center of the fern’s trunk.

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