Māmaki (Pipturus albidus)

Hawaiian name: Māmaki
Botanical name: Pipturus albidus
Family: Urticaceae (Nettle Family)
Status: Endemic
Where found: Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Hawai‘i, O‘ahu & Kaua‘i
Water/Light: Moist to wet, with partial sunlight
Elevation range: 0 to 6,100 feet
Height: Up to 30 feet, with a 15-foot spread

Photo: Jupiter Nielsen

Notes: The inner bark of māmaki is second only to wauke as the preferred material used for kapa making. The dried leaves make an excellent tea with calming properties. White fruits resembling small raspberries appear along the branches. These fruits are bland but edible and were used medicinally for healing sores and wounds. Early Hawaiians used māmaki wood to make clubs and kapa beaters. Māmaki is a favorite of Hawaii's two native butterflies, Pulelehua and Koa, a good reason not to use insecticides on these plants.

Photo: Starr

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

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A Few Native Hawaiian Plants from the MNBG Collection