Ko‘olau’s plant icon is the flower of the koko‘olau (also known as ko‘oko‘olau). It is easy to see why this plant would be chosen for this moku by simply noticing it’s name, but koko‘olau is a widely used medicinal plant. It is made into tea and has medicinal properties and is used in a variety of ways for healing. This is a very useful plant that through ingenuity hundreds of years ago became highly valued.
Referred to as an i‘a (fish) in Hawaiian, the ula, or spiny lobster, is highly prized as food. It’s delicate life and spawning cycle should remind us about the need for self control and proper management of natural resources around the island through lāhui, or temporary restriction periods.
The color is a cross between red (‘ula‘ula, like the name of this fish) and purple, Kaua‘i’s designated color since the late 1940s.