ʻĀkulikuli is one of Hawaiʻi’s most salt tolerant plants, and can most often be found in wetland environments near brackish water. They thrive in salty, windy coastal environments. As a wetland plant, they excel at filtering excess toxins and nutrients out of water sources, and for this reason they have been planted on floating platforms atop the Ala Wai canal. This waterway in Waikiki is known for having some of the most polluted water in Hawaiʻi, and by planting ʻākulikuli, one can reap some benefits a natural wetland would provide.
Wetland plants like ʻākulikuli are vital for protecting coastal ecosystems. They absorb sediment runoff and excess nutrients before they reach the ocean and suffocate coral reefs.
Ākulikuli can be eaten raw or cooked, and the leaves taste like pickles!
Common name: Sea Purselane
Scientific name: Sesuvium portulacastrum
Where to Find: Wetlands