Healing plants walk into Paies

This term I prepared a medicinal flora of Paies handout to accompany the walk up into Paies, and I began the walk on campus which permitted late arriving stragglers a chance to find the group before we disappeared up the road. I began at the plant that I continue to label Premna serratifolia (Pohnpei: oahr) as distinct from Premna obtusifolia (Chuukese (lagoon): nior, Kosraen: fienkack, Mortlockese: lior, Pohnpeian: topwuk, Yapese: arr). I then moved on to the Premna obtusifolia, Psidium guajava (Chuuk: kuafa, Kosrae: kuhfahfah, Pohnpei: kuapa, Yap: tamlanai), and Glochidion ramiflorum (Pohnpei: mwehk, Chuuk: afór, Yap: ngumol). From there I pointed out the Terminalia catappa (Chuuk: asas, aas, Kosrae: srifacf, Pohnpei: dipwoapw, Yap: kel) on the left as we headed to the college intersection.

Sandralynn was also photographing

I noted that I was intentionally not covering the medicinal uses and that the students would themselves present on uses the following week. This left open to the students to discuss among themselves some of the various uses of the plants.

The corner has well recovered from the bulldozing, with a number of plants returning to the area. The corner is again an ethnobotanical medicine area. Macaranga carolinensis. Chuuk: tuupw, kúrúwén, Kosrae: lo iacp, Pohnpei: apwid, Yap: bid, biid, bith

Senna alata. Chuukese: arakak, Kapinga: lau hunu gili, Kosraen: sra kihto, Mortlockese: kushuwa, Pingelapese: kito, Pohnpeian: tuhke en kilin wai, Woleian: tamwisi, Yapese: sabow

Shanaleen studies the handout

Piper ponapense. Pohnpei: konok.

Shanaleen, Pelida, Megan

Morinda citrifolia. Kosrae: ii, Pohnpei: weipwul, kirikai; Chuuk: nopwur, Faichuuk: rin; Satawal: neen, Yap: mangal'weg, Polynesia: noni, Fiji: kura.

Scaevola taccada. Chuukese: nad, ned, Kosraean: kusrohsr, Mortlockese: ned, Mwoakillese: remek, Pingelapese: remek, Pohnpeian: remek, Woleai: remag, Yapese: nath, noth, or thoeth

Ocimum tenuiflorum. Chuukese: warung, Kosraen: aring, Pohnpeian: kadiring, Yapese: lamar or yalmar. Hindi: tulsi

Volkameria inermis. Chuukese (lagoon): apuoch, apwech, Chuukese (other): etiu, pucherik, Kapinga: lau hia, Kosraen: kwacwak, Mortlockese: ulo, Namonweito: ula, Pohnpeian: ilau, Samoan: aloalo tai,  Woleai: gabwi, Yapese: l'ruch

Sandralynn and Kiyoe examine Volkameria inermis

Sandralynn, Pelida, and Kiyoe headed up into Paies

Teaching outdoors is a unique challenge, the group rather naturally spreads apart. One key is to not move too far from one location to the next. Stopping frequently permits the class to regroup. This is, as one can see from the photo, the selfie generation.

Plectranthus scutellarioides. Pohnpei: koramahd

Not typically a healing plant, Dicranopteris linearis. Pohnpei: mwedil en mal, Chuuk: anecha, Yap: gana'. This sun loving fern has all but disappeared from the grassy area the class transits during the seedless vascular plant walk earlier in the term.


Not on the list during the class: Cordyline fruticosa: Chuuk: tiin, Hawaiian ti plant, Kosrae: ingingkal, Pohnpei: dihng, Yap: riich. This plant has since been added to the handout. At one point one student felt slightly overheated and pulled a random leaf to put on their forehead. Sandralynn pulled the leaf away saying, "Not that one. Itchy." I pulled a Cordyline fruticosa and the student applied that to their forehead. The leaf seemed to help. The plant is used in Hawaii to reduce fever. The linked article refers to the plants as Cordyline terminalis, but this name is listed as illegitimate at ThePlantList. Cordyline terminalis (L.) Kunth is an illegitimate synonym for Cordyline fruticosa (L.) A.Chev.

Piper methysticum. Kosrae: seka, suhka, Pohnpei: sakau

Citrus aurantiifolia. Chuuk: naymis, Kosrae: laim, Pohnpei: karer, Woleai: gurmwaresh/lomul, Yap: remong

Kira and Rennie Glenn assist with Woleaian names for plants

Kiyoe explores along a stream


Kira, there is always time for some photos along the way

The ethnobotany class is a unique class, a set of shared experiences and learnings, a class as a community. There is a sense of learning together, a sense of comfort. Freed from the walls of the classroom the learning is along the lines of Aristotle's peripatetic school or Rousseau's vision of learning propounded in Emile.

Kiyoe in the stream

Local in the swimming hole

Plectranthus scutellarioides. Pohnpei: koramahd. This is a nicer specimen further up the road in Paies.

Future college student


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