Big Island Box Blog

  • Vanilla is an Orchid - September 2021

    Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world ! (behind saffron), and is actually the only member of the orchid family that produces a food & flavoring product.
  • Endemic Hawaiian Māmaki and the Kamehameha Butterfly

    Māmaki (Pipturus albidus) is endemic to Hawai’i, meaning it’s only found naturally in the Hawaiian Islands. It originates from the nettle family, but unlike its stinging relatives this species has evolved in Hawai’i without needing those defenses. It’s widely known as a medicinal tea, but its connection to the natural world is much more far-reaching culturally as well as biologically.