In Hawaiʻi, there are approximately one hundred names for kinds of limu, sixty of which can be matched with scientific names. Hundreds of species of marine algae were once found in Hawaiʻi. Many limu are edible, and used in the cuisine throughout most of Polynesia. Limu (algae) – Wikipedia
Limu (seaweed) needs groundwater to thrive: “Native marine macroalgae, also known as limu (seaweed), thrive in environments created by natural groundwater seeps, specifically benefiting from the combined effects of enhanced nutrients despite lowered salinity levels, according to a review published by a team of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers”. (https://www.Hawaiʻi.edu/news/2022/01/25/native-algae-pristine-groundwater/)
Limu in Hawaiʻian Culture: Limu is important to Hawaiʻian culture, it was part of the Kumulipo (creation story) and part of the diet and was subject to a specific set of kapu.
“Limu is one of the first organisms listed in the creation chant the Kumulipo. It is one of our most elementary organisms not only because of its character of a producer and photosynthetic organism but also because of its placement in our history and culture”. (Source: https://ulukau.org/gsdl2.81/cgi-bin/cbkuula)
Limu in South Maui is suffering from groundwater contamination and groundwater reduction: Limu in South Maui is suffering from groundwater contamination and reduction, and Many residents remember at Maui Sunset, Waipuilani park (Kawililipoa Beach) there used to be great big piles of Limu, that was a favorite site for gathering limu. Nowadays there is almost none. Lipoa too was known for the fragrant smell of the Lipoa Limu that gave its name to the area.
- Limu-Kawililipoa-Maui (Photo: Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0 US )