Pōhinahina (Beach Vitex) - Maui Ocean Center
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Pōhinahina (Beach Vitex)


Common name: None

Scientific name: Vitex rotundifolia

Where to Find: Coastal environments

Status: Indigenous

Many Hawaiian plant names contain the phrase “hinahina”, which translates to “very silver”. Some native plants have adopted a silvery coloration in order to protect themselves from the sun’s strong UV rays. This color helps reflect a significant amount of sunlight that could otherwise damage the plant. Although many species share this namesake and coloration, they are not always closely related to one another. This is an example of convergent evolution, where multiple species independently evolved but share similar adaptations.

Did You Know?
The leaves of pōhinahina smell similar to eucalyptus.