Hawaiian Heritage Plants: Revised Edition
- About the Book
Almost 90 per cent of Hawaii's flora are found nowhere else in the world. This text presents a revised edition of a guide book to these and other plants that comprise some of the most unique ecosystems in the world. In a series of essays, the author weaves cultural and biological, historical and geographic, aesthetic and spiritual aspects of Hawaiian ecology into non-technical accounts of 32 plants important to early Hawaiians.
Dr. Angela Kay Kepler is an energetic, old-fashioned naturalist, meticulous researcher, author (of 18 books, including Trees of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian Heritage Plants: Revised Edition), and experimental cook. “Retired” from a multifaceted career as an ecologist, ornithologist, conservationist, and environmental consultant, her passion for bananas and plantains propelled her into becoming the principal international authority on Hawaiian/Eastern Pacific bananas and a key player in banana identification. With her co-author, she revolutionized the art of international banana photography. Kepler holds degrees from the University of Canterbury, University of Hawai‘i, Cornell University, and Oxford University. She has received literary and photography awards for excellence in Hawaiian culture, and two of her books have been bestsellers for nearly 20 years.
A Hawai‘i resident since 1963, Kepler is also an avid organic farmer practicing a high degree of self-sufficiency. Her family’s Pali O Waipi‘o Farmlet on Maui furnishes virtually all their fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and protein (eggs, chickens, ducks, tilapia fish). Their staple carbohydrates are Hawaiian traditional bananas (mai‘a). Her co-author and beloved husband, Frank Rust, assists with banana field research and GPS mapping. He holds degrees from Georgia Tech and the University of California, Berkeley, and worked for 15 years in engineering research and development at the Savannah River Laboratory, followed by 30 years of horse ranching.