‘A‘ali‘i is a shrub or a small tree that averages between six to twelve feet tall, but can reach up to twenty-five feet. This species has separate male and female plants (known as gonochoric). Only the female plants can produce seed capsules. There are several morphologies of the ‘A‘ali‘i’s leaf size and shape depending on its environment and the availability of resources. Typically, they are one to four inches long with a reddish midrib or stem. Along with Alahe‘e, it is one of the two plants that fishermen used to make spears specifically to catch octopus.
In modern Hawai‘i, people use ‘a‘ali‘i in the same ways that sage is used; Primarily burned to cleanse or influence clarity of mind.
Common name: none
Scientific name: Dodonaea viscosa
Where to Find: Sea level – 7500 ft. It can be found in all habitat types