Pōhinahina (Vitex rotundifolia)

Hawaiian name: Pōhinahina
Botanical name: Vitex rotundifolia
Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Status: Indigenous
Where found: Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Hawai‘i, O‘ahu, Ni‘ihau & Kaua‘i
Water/Light: Dry, with full sun exposure
Elevation: 0 to 50 feet (up to 2,500 feet in cultivation)
Height: Up to 9 feet, with an up to 8 foot spread

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr

Notes: Pōhinahina has a pleasant, sage-like, aroma with beautiful blue-violet flowers, which are often used in lei making. In old Hawai‘i, the edible leaves were used to relieve illnesses such as headaches, stomach pains, insomnia and queasiness. Pōhinahina is a tough coastal plant that is rather easy to grow inland, and can provide excellent erosion control in any landscape. Pōhinahina is drought, wind, salt and heat tolerant.

*Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants