Stringing a lei of kou

21 09 2020

The kou tree in the front garden is blooming and dropping delicate orange-colored blossoms. When strung into a flower lei they look like ilima.

The Hawaiian-English dictionary has this description:

“ 1. n. A tree found on shores from East Africa to Polynesia (Cordia subcordata), with large, ovate leaves, and orange, tubular flowers 2.5 to 5 cm in diameter, borne in short-stemmed clusters. The beautiful wood, soft but lasting, was valuable to the early Hawaiians and was used for cups, dishes, and calabashes. (Neal 714–5.) (PPN tou.)”

I keep the lei cool in the open air between wet newspaper, avoiding the refrigerator, and re-dampen the newspaper as needed.

Beautiful.

After wearing, you may save the lei. As it dries to a rusty orange, snug up the flowers together along the craft ribbon to wear again!

Aloha nō,

Rebekah


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