This plantʻs unique 3 pronged leaves explain why it has been called the Hawaiian goosefoot. This endemic species can often be found growing near beaches in dry sunny conditions. Young stems and leaves can be cooked and eaten, and have also been used to treat ailments in small children. ʻĀweoweo shares its name with the Hawaiian bigeye fish found in our oceans. “ ʻĀ” translates to “flaming” or “burning” and “weoweo” translates to “very red”. Older stems of the plant are streaked with the same bright red color as the fish. When the leaves are crushed, a fishy odor is released. Older branches from the plant can be used to make fish hooks, so it is possible to catch ʻāweoweo with ʻāweoweo!
These two species are linked in the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant. Plants and animals connected in this manner are considered the guardians of one another. If the population of one species is doing poorly, then you will likely see negative changes in the populations of the other.
The soft silvery leaves of this plant are often used as food and nesting material for many Hawaiian shorebirds.
Common name: Hawaiian Goosefoot
Scientific name: Chenopodium oahuense
Where to Find: Marshes, Coastlines