Exploring the roots of plant names

LIHUE — “Zanthoxylum: What’s in a (plant’s) name?” is the title of a free public lecture on April 12 from 5:30 p.m. In this fourth offering of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kauai Community College’s “What in the World” public series, Puanani Anderson-Fung of the University of Hawaii’s Department of Botany will discuss Polynesian plant relations and linguistics in the cafeteria at the KCC Campus Center in Puhi.

In her talk, Anderson-Fung will explore the fascinating ties between plants and language in Hawaii, Tonga, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands.

Specifically, she will examine the Polynesian word “ake” and its widespread and varied uses based on her linguistic, botanical and ethnological “detective work” as she illuminates the ties between language, plants and Polynesian culture.

The “What in the World” lecture series is one of many collaborations between the nonprofit National Tropical Botanical Garden and Kauai Community College.

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