Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Weeping White Wiliwilis

ABC Wednesday is a word meme with participants from around the world. This fabulous meme was created and hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt who hails from Great Britain. Over time, others have joined in to help host this wonderful and informative meme. We are now in our seventh round-some of the participants have been with this from the very first round; others have joined in along the way. Each week we are taken across the globe to see the varied and exciting contributions people have taken the time to discover and capture. We start with the letter, "A" and each week we post something in regards to the next letter of the alphabet. This week's letter. is, "W".


 Wiliwili (pronounced "willie willie") are also known as Coral Trees, Lobster Claw Tree, Flame Trees, etc. In Hawaii, they are known as wiliwili. It is a tree in the Erythrina family.  In Hawaii, there are several color forms:  red ones, yellow ones, white ones. My brother has some old photos on his website. I consulted him for a lot of the general background information on this plant as he is the one who planted this tree that is in the yard of the home we grew up in, in Kalae, Molokai. The tree drops all of its leaves before it sets forth into bloom. Blooming starts with a solitary flower such as this one, and over time, the entire tree is filled in bloom (hence Flame Tree). Robert says that there is this one area on the way up to the forest reserve that has white wiliwili trees and when they are in full bloom, it looks like it's been snowing.The wood of this tree is very light and buoyant. The outrigger part of  canoes were made from wiliwili wood. In the Hawaiian language, 'wiliwili' means,  'repeatedly twisted' as the seed pods are twisted. The seeds in the seed pods are sought out by those who make leis from the seeds of plants in Hawaii. They are difficult to 'sew' through with a needle and thread, but they yield remarkably beautiful leis. Problem is, though, in Hawaii, these seed leis need to be stored in zip lock bags and kept in the deep freeze so that the bugs don't eat away at it (they are taken out about an hour before wearing to allow it to thaw out). There are several beautiful legends of the wiliwili tree. I like this one the best.


My Aunty Florence made this one for me. A very labor intensive project-but I cherish this lei not only because my Aunty made it, but because the seeds are from wiliwili trees on Molokai. These leis are sewn by hand with needle and really strong thread of some sort.


As in the white flowers of the chive plants that grow in in my garden. They drop lots of seeds, so I have more chives that keep coming back each summer than I can deal with!


Full view of a windmill  up in the Abiqui area of Northern New Mexico.

 A detailed view of the windmill.


Yes, I find that even woodgrain such as this, which is one of those plywood bulletin board kiosks on the University of New Mexico campus. Normally, this kiosk is littered with notices so that you cannot see the wood beneath it.


May God bless your Holidays
With Hope, Peace and Love!


gigihawaii said...

Lovely photos, Paula. Love them! I have never seen a wiliwili tree in full bloom with white flowers. If it looks like snow, it must be quite a sight!

That seed lei is beautiful. No wonder you treasure it.

Nanka said...

Warm Wishes for a great festive season and a wonderful New Year!!

photowannabe said...

Wonderful post Paula. I love the info on the flowers and that lei is so special. I can't imagine sewing that by hand. Strong hands!
Wishing you the very best for the coming year and a Blessed Christmas to you and your family.

Sylvia K said...

Great post, as always, and today for the W Day! Always learn something new and that's always great! Wishing your and your family and a beautiful, Merry Christmas with lots of love and laughter!


Leslie: said...

Wonderful, Paula! Never heard of a wiliwili tree but it looks lovely and I also think the lei is very special.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas! :D

Joy said...

What a lovely and interesting tree, the lei is a work of love. I know exactly what you mean about chives, plant one and it becomes a 100. I like scattering the flowers in salads.

Joy said...

Oops I forgot, wishing you a happy Christmas.

Tumblewords: said...

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season! I absolutely adore the wiliwili. Never heard of it but it is superb, unusual and fascinating!

Roger Owen Green said...

wonderful variety - esp like the wood grain...
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Barbara said...

Lovely images that Lei is wonderful. Have a very Merry Christmas.

Cheryl said...

That's a beautiful tree. All of your W photos are wonderful.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

Carver said...

Fantastic group of shots for W words and a very interesting post too. Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Gigi Ann said...

What a Wonderful selection of the W's today.

Spadoman said...

Great photos and stories about things. The lei is beautiful. Here, the cedar berries from cedar trees are used as beads and woven into things. They are smaller than the williwilli berries.
Love the form the wood makes. Once, I made a cribbage board from a piece if wood as the "design" looked like a lake. I had the pegs goping around the lake. I'll look and see if I can find it, but it might be gone forever.

Thank you for the Christmas Wish. The same to you and all you hold dear.


Quilt Works said...

Merry Christmas! I hope it filled with joy and love!

Thank you for your visits - I always enjoy reading you comments!


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