Koki‘o ke‘o ke‘o (Hibiscus arnottianus subsp. immaculatus)

Hawaiian name: Koki‘o ke‘oke‘o (Aloalo)
Botanical name: Hibiscus arnottianus subsp. immaculatus
Family: Malvaceae (Mallow Family)
Status: endangered
Where found: Moloka‘i
Water/Light: Dry, with full to partial sunlight
Elevation range: 50 to 1,600 feet
Height: 10 to 30 feet

This species of koki‘o ke‘oke‘o features large white, faintly fragrant flowers with pale stamens. Native Hawaiian white hibiscus are the only species of hibiscus in the world known to have fragrant flowers. This endangered shrub is found only on the island of Moloka‘i, and has been reduced to less than a dozen individual plants in the wild. In old Hawai‘i the bases of these flowers were sometimes consumed as a mild laxative. Koki‘o ke‘oke‘o is drought and wind tolerant, and makes a great hedge or screening plant within a Hawaiian landscape.

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

Photo: Emmely Felipe

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A Few Native Hawaiian Plants from the MNBG Collection