Hawaiian Name(s): palapalai, palai

Scientific Name: Microlepia strigosa

Vernacular Name: lace fern

Family: Dennstaedtiaceae

Status: indigenous

Authority: Thunb.

Description: Fern.

Habitat Found in shady, moist habitats from 230–1830 m (Valier 1995:54).

Medicines: Palapalai is used to treat the hehena [insanity] illness (Chun 1998:48).

Non Medicinal Uses: Offered at hula altars (kuahu) (Pukui 1942).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:

Mele: "Ma‘ema‘e wale ke kino o ka palai" line in "Ka‘ililauokekoa" "Hanu lipo o ka palai" line in "Kaua i ka Huahua‘i" "Kalele nu‘a i ka palai" line in "Kokohi" "Lupalupa lau lipo i ke oho o ka palai" "Moloka‘i Nui a Hina" "Luhe ka lau o ka palai" line in "Puia ka Nahele" "Ka popohe lau o ka palai" line in "Sweet Lei Mamo" (Elbert & Mahoe 1970)

`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Easiest to buy a plant; can grow in pot but better in the ground; if plant is dense w/ fronds & roots use slender, sharp saw & slice the root ball, divide into halves or thirds to replant in other pots/ground to start a patch; likes rich organic soil (Bornhorst 1996:70–71; Nagata 1992). Thrives under medium or high light, in moist to dry garden soil or potting mix (Hoshizaki & Moran 2002:377).
Native Plants Hawaii.