Hawaiian Name(s): mai‘a hē‘ī, mai‘a Polapola

Scientific Name: Musa troglodytarum

Vernacular Name: banana (Tahiti)

Family: Musaceae

Status: Polynesian introduction

Authority: L.

Description: 5-12 m tall, leaves 200-400 cm long.

Habitat Cultivated and persists sparingly in low elevation mesic to wet valleys on most main islands (Wagner et al. 1990:1466).


Non Medicinal Uses: Introduced relatively recently, from Tahiti where it is used as a main starch crop, cooked when mature, similar to breadfruit; black stems used in weaving with hala (Wagner et al. 1990:1466).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts: Purple (sap)

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: