"Hawaiian Plant Life: Vegetation and Flora" (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014) written by UCLA distinguished professor of of ecology and evoluytionary biology Phil Rundel and two others won the 2015 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award of Excellence in Natural Science from the Hawai'i Book Publishers Association. Rundel holds a joint appointment at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.

Rundel, who is director of the Mildred Mathias Botanical Garden, and co-authors Robert Gustafson and Derral Herbst wrote the book for both the layperson and professional interested in Hawai‘i’s natural history and flora. It includes almost 875 color photographs illustrating nearly two-thirds of native Hawaiian plant species as well as a concise description of each genus and species shown. The publishers' association also awarded it an honorable mention for excellence in the category of illustrative/photographic books.