Hawaiian Native Species
  • Hala

    Hala are indigenous to Hawaii ranging as far as Australia. Fossil records show that they arrived here well before the first humans. The list of uses from this tree is extensive; the root made a dye, the leaves were woven into clothing, the fruits were cooked and eaten, and the […]

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  • U’ulei

    ʻŪlei belong to the very large Rose family (Rosaceae) of nearly 3,000 species.Though ʻūlei is indigenous, there are three other endemic members: Hawaiian strawberry or ʻōhelo papa (Fragaria chiloensis subsp. sandwicensis), and two species Hawaiian raspberries or ʻākala (Rubus hawaiensis & R. macraei). All have edible fruit, but range from […]

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  • Naio

    Myoporum sandwicensis, known as Naio in Hawaiian, is a family comprising 4 genera and about 220 species from Australia, eastern Asia, and Pacific islands, with one monotypic genus Bonita L. in the west Indies and northern South America. The wood has a fragrance like honey and was confused with sandalwood. […]

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  • Mai`a – Banana

    Musa acuminata/ Musa sapientum, known as Mai`a in Hawaiian, usually grows in moist areas that are either wind protected, planted around dwellings, or on well-watered banks of taro lo`i. It can grow on median forest belts from an altitude of 1500 to 3000 ft. and on lower fringes of the […]

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  • Ohia Lehua

    Metrosideros polymorpha is an extremely variable plant. It ranges in habit from a prostrate shrub to a 100 foot tree. Young bark is smooth and light gray and becomes rough and scaly with age. In the landscape or garden, Metrosideros polymorpha is generally no larger than 40 feet tall and […]

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  • Nehe

    Nehe are members of the Sunflower or Aster family (Asteraceae). There fourteen endemic species of Melanthera in the Hawaiian Islands. The taxonomic genus name has been changed from Lipochaeta to Melanthera. Melanthera integrifolia hybridizes with Lipochaeta lobata subsp. lobata at Kaʻena Pt., Oʻahu. The hybrids produce nearly sterile seed. The […]

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  • Kupukupu fern

    Kupupukupu (Nephrolepis spp.) are members of Lomariopsidaceae. There are several common naturalized swordferns and will hybridize with the native species. This is the only Nephrolepis species, or swordfern, in Hawaii that produce underground tubers on the stolons. The generic name Nephrolepis is derived from the Greek nephros, kidney, and lepis, […]

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  • Hau hele ula

    Kokia cookei is considered one of the rarest and most endangered plant species in the world. In 1910, a single living tree was discovered within the general area of the initial sighting and may in fact, have been one of theoriginal trees. In 1915, this last remaining wild specimen was […]

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  • Kalo-Taro

    Hawaii primarily grows wetland taro, or kalo in Hawaiian, in patches (lo`i) These patches are directly irrigated from rivers or streams, which is beneficial, because taro thrives best in aerated moving water. They can tolerate swampy or marshy conditions and a fair level of acidity. Best adapted in warm, moist, […]

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  • Pa u o hiiaka

    Pāʻuohiʻiaka is a member of the Morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), which comprises some 1,650 species throughout the world. Recently, this native plant has been raised to a specific level as Jacquemontia sandwicensis, where formely it was considered as an endemic subspecies. One non-native relative, the Skyblue clustervine (Jacquemontia pentantha), is […]

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  • Beach Mornining Glory

    The beach morning glory or Goat’s foot, is a common tropical creeping vine, belonging to the family of Convolvulaceae. It grows on the upper parts of beaches and endures salted air. It is one of the most common and most widely distributed salt tolerant plants and provides one of the […]

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  • Kokio keokeo

    Hibiscus waimeae is a small, gray-barked tree up to 30 feet tall. The upper surface of the leaves is light green while the lower surface is covered with velvety hairs which makes it appear grayish. The round or oval leaves are 2 to 7 inches long and 1 to 5 […]

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  • Kokio ulaula

    Restricted in dry to mesic forests on northwestern Kauaʻi. The generic name Hibiscus is derived from hibiscos, the Greek name for mallow. The specific and subspecific epithet kokio comes from the Hawaiian name for this hibiscus. The subspecies is named after Harold St. John (1892-1991), a professor of botany at […]

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  • Kokio kea

    This subspecies of kokiʻo keʻokeʻo is extremely rare in its native habitat on Molokaʻi where the few remaining plants grow in wet to mesic forests (50-1600 ft.).The generic name Hibiscus is derived from hibiscos, the Greek name for mallow. The specific and subspecific epithets are named in behalf of George […]

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  • Kokio ula

    Kokiʻo ʻula is found in a few dry forests of eastern Kauaʻi. The generic name Hibiscus is derived from hibiscos, the Greek name for mallow. In 1928, Albert W. Duvel discovered several small hibiscus trees on Kauaʻi that were damaged by cattle. He brought them into cultivation, which proved to […]

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