The Hāpu'u fern can be found all over the east side of the Big Island. The ferns grow well from sea level on up to 6,000 ft, but the most spectacular ferns are found in Volcano and the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
There are actually three varieties of Hāpu'u that grow on the Big Island. They differ in size from the smaller Hāpu'u 'i'i (Cibotium chamissoi) to ones that grow to huge heights.
A fern frond begins as a curled up shoot. As it matures it unfurls - with each of the leafy fingers also unfurling in a true fractal form. Once the fern has matured it is a rather large frond on a rigid stem and can provide ample shade.
July 15th, 2013
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