|Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa|
Microlepia strigosa, known as hay-scented fern, lace fern, rigid lace fern and palapalai, is a fern indigenous to the Hawaiian islands and is also native to other parts of the tropics and subtropics including India and Malaysia. This fern belongs to a group of about seventy Microlepia species in the bracken or hay-scented fern family (Dennstaedtiaceae). There are two indigenous species and a hybrid found in the main Hawaiian Islands. It is also known by the botanical names: Davallia hirta, Davallia setosa, Davallia strigosa, Dicksonia kaulfussiana, Dicksonia strigosa, Microlepia hirta, Microlepia setosa, Stenoloma tenuifolium, Trichomanes strigosum. It has coarse, light to medium green fronds which can grow to more than 3 ft (0.9 m) long.
Early Hawaiians used the fronds to decorate hula altars dedicated to Laka, goddess of hula. The ferns were used as head lei (lei poʻo), neck lei (lei ʻāʻī), and wrist lei (lei kūpeʻe) and to provide a soft base against the skin. The plants were believed to be a cure for insanity. It was also used to bathe in and young leaf fronds were fed to babies.
- Growing plants for Hawaiian lei : 85 plants for gardens, conservation, and business. Honolulu: College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 2002. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-1929325139.
- "Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa". Native Plants Hawaii. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
- Nagata, Kenneth M. (1992). How to plant a native Hawaiian garden. Honolulu: Hawaii State Office of Environmental Quality Control.
- McDonald, Marie A. (2003). Nā lei makamae = The treasured lei. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 978-0824826499.
- Kaaiakamanu, D.M.; Akana, Akaiko (1922). Hawaiian herbs of medicinal value : found among the mountains and elsewhere in the Hawaiian Islands, and known to the Hawaiians to possess curative and palliative properties most effective in removing physical ailments. Honolulu: Board of Health of the Territory of Hawaii. p. 72.
- Kaaiakamanu, D. M.; Chun, Malcolm Nāea (1917). Native Hawaiian medicine. Vol. III (2003 translation ed.). Honolulu: First People's Productions. p. 83.
- GRIN-Global Web v 22.214.171.124: Taxonomy + distribution of Microlepia strigosa
- Plants for Hawaiian lei: Palapalai (accessed September 25, 2015)
- Hui ku Maoli Ola: Palapalai (accessed September 25, 2015)
- Bishop Museum Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database (accessed September 25, 2015)