Laua‘e - Microsorum spectrum - Maui Ocean Center
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Laua‘e – Microsorum spectrum


Common name: Hawaiian fern, Maile-scented fern

Status: Introduced 

Scientific name: Phymatosorus scolopendria 

Where to Find: Beaches to shaded mesic lowland forest and wind-swept ridges

In the Hawaiian islands there are two types of Laua’e, a rare endemic species and another that originates from Australia. Both species are loved by lei makers and cultural practitioners, but it seems that because of its rarity the Hawaiian Laua’e has been replaced by its Australian cousin which is much more common. The Australian species was introduced in 1910 and because it’s been around for so long most people believe it to be native. 

Did You Know?
Laua’e means beloved or sweet. When its leaves are crushed it exudes a sweet endearing fragrance.