Pā‘ūohi‘iaka - Maui Ocean Center
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Pā‘ūohi‘iaka

Pā‘ūohi‘iaka

Common name: none 

Scientific name: Jacquemontia sandwicensis 

Where to Find: Sea level to 100 ft. Coastal habitats especially on the leeward side of the islands. 

Status: Indigenous

Pā‘ūohi‘iaka is a member of the morning glory family.  There are other species of Jacquemontia sandwicensis found naturally in Mexico, the West Indies, and Africa.  The species found in Hawai’i has larger flowers.  It’s tubular flowers range from pale blue to white in color, ranging from ½ to 1 inch long.  Pā’ūohi’iaka translates to “The skirt of Hi‘iaka”, relating to the goddess Hi’iakaikapoliopele. 

An important ground cover species, Pā‘ūohi‘iaka’s creeping branches and thick, shallow roots prevent the loss of sand & soil in areas sensitive to coastal erosion. They are frequently seen growing on sand dunes that border Hawai‘i’s beaches. 

Did You Know?
This plant is named after Hi‘iaka, Pele’s most loyal and favorite sister. She is also the goddess of medicines and hula dancers.