Kupukupu | Hawaiian Plant Life

Park Hours
9 AM - 5 PM

Park Hours 9 AM - 5 PM


This fern is characterized by its vibrant green fronds, which are deeply lobed and have a distinctive, triangular shape. The name “Kupukupu” is derived from the Hawaiian language and means “to sprout” or “to grow.”


The Kupukupu fern is often found in moist and shaded areas, such as rainforests and along streambanks. It thrives in the humid and tropical climate of the islands. The fern is valued for its ornamental qualities and is sometimes used in landscaping to add lush, green foliage to gardens.


Cultural Significance


Culturally, ferns hold significance in Hawaiian traditions and are associated with rebirth and growth. The Kupukupu fern, with its resilient and proliferative nature, aligns with these symbolic meanings. The fern’s life cycle, characterized by the unfolding of new fronds or leaves in a tightly coiled manner, is seen as a metaphor for the continuous cycle of life, death, and renewal. The fern’s ability to thrive in diverse environments, from the lush rainforests to the volcanic landscapes of Hawaii, is a testament to its adaptability and resilience.


In Hawaiian mythology and folklore, certain ferns are believed to be guardians of the forest and are associated with spiritual entities. Ferns are also used in various cultural practices, including hula ceremonies and lei-making. The intricate patterns and shapes of fern fronds inspire artistic expressions and are incorporated into traditional crafts and designs.

common Name


Scientific Name

Nephrolepis cordifolia



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