Our Kona product replicates, in part, Hawaii’s pili grass. This grass was once the primary grass used in thatching on the islands. Research from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa revealed that the grass has been replaced in recent decades by an invasive African grass. Researchers surveyed sites once dominated by pili grass just over one-half century ago. Before the turn of the century, it was absent in at least 35 percent of those sites and declining in most of the other sites surveyed.
Pili grass became replaced with three invasive African grasses: buffel grass, fountain grass, and Guinea grass. The research sites were located on O’ahu, but observations indicated that the rapid decline of pili grass occurred on other Hawaiian islands as well. Researchers steadily worked to try to maintain and expand Hawaii’s pili grass communities. Thankfully, in recent years, the efforts were stepped up by local growers. See, this grass, which in part inspired our Kona product, served several cultural purpose for Native Hawaiians, and it once grew abundantly in open spaces all over all of the islands.
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Whether you’re interested in roofing an umbrella for your backyard or an entire hotel, we’d love to help you choose the right product for the job.
Check out our synthetic thatch roofing materials now to find one that’s right for you:
- Capetown– A trimmed, coarsely textured, longer reed. Replicates African Yellow Grass or “Cape Reed” that replicates the typical African style thatching.
- Kilimanjaro– A heavy reed replicating a traditional weathered, Tanzanian cape reed roof.
- Somerset– A closely tapered, slightly weathered appearing shingle. Replicates a typical, hand trimmed European thatching.
- Kona– A combination of wide leaf and smaller grass reed. Replicates the look of Hawaiian “Pili Grass” and Asian Alang-Alang grass thatching.
- Dominica– A synthetic palm leaf style thatching. Replicates palm leaves commonly used in tropical regions throughout the world.
- Bali– A finer, loosely tapered, slightly longer shingle designed to resemble the appearance of East Asian grass thatching.
- Viva Series– An especially economical synthetic palm thatch.