Hala Leaves – One Dozen
Lovely hala leaves are long with yellow variegation in the center. These long narrow hala leaves are prized for their color. This is a favorite for creating an arrangement of Hawaiian flowers.
Hala leaves make a distinctive tropical foliage addition to any Hawaiian flower arrangement. This ribbon like leaf adds a special color and shape to a tropical flower display. The leaves taper to a point. Cutting a V-shaped chevron at the tip is an interesting option. Another technique is to cut the leaves horizontally into smaller pieces. The sections are handy for filling in gaps around the flowers. Especially near the bottom of the arrangement. It helps to use floral foam and just tuck the pieces in.
Hala leaves grow on a tall Panadanus tree and were used by Hawaiians for hats, floor mats or roofs for homes. The color runs a green on the edges with a line of yellow variegation running through the middle of the leaf. You may hear it called ‘lau hala’ since ‘lau’ refers to the larger leaves that are used for basket making. The full grown trees have long drooping leaves and raised roots that look like a bottle brush.
The hala leaf and fruit have an important role in Hawaiian history. The trees can become quite large though we use smaller specimen leaves for flower arranging. It produces a fruit with segments inside. These were used for painting and for making leis. However, a hala fruit lei was typically given when someone had passed away.