Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula (Hibiscus kokio subsp. saintjohnnianus)

Hawaiian name: Koki‘o ‘ula (koki‘o, koki‘o ‘ula‘ula, mākū)
Botanical name: Hibiscus kokio subsp. saintjohnianus
Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Status: Endemic, Rare
Where found: Kaua‘i
Water/Light: Full sun/part shade, dry to moderately wet
Elevation range: 450 to 3,300 feet
Height: 10 to 20 feet, with a 10 foot spread

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

Photo: MNBG

Notes: This species of koki‘o ‘ula is native to northwestern Kaua'i, but can be seen growing at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. It was named for famous botanist, Harold St. John, a much loved professor at the University of Hawai'i. Flowers of this species can range from orange to red or, a more rare, yellow. In Early Hawai‘i, koki‘o ‘ula was added to a medicinal remedy consumed to purify the blood. The leaves were also chewed and swallowed as a laxative, and the seeds were used to strengthen a weakened child. Koki‘o ‘ula is drought tolerant

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A Few Native Hawaiian Plants from the MNBG Collection