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    (Click here to return to Plants & Creatures)

    Common Name:Pūkiawe (poo-kay-ah-vay)
    Plant with Berries
    Scientific:Styphelia tameiameiae
    Size:6 to 24 inches tall
    Fruit:Red and white small berries
    Habitat:2,000 to 8,000 ft, Dry

    The Pūkiawe plant grows at higher altitudes and is abundant in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Volcano area. The plant is fairly small, only a foot or two high. It has thin branches with many narrow and tiny leaves; the flowers are small and white. Its berries are very tiny, about 1/4 inch around and may be red, white or reddish-white in color. The Pūkiawe prefers dry and/or alpine habitat and is one of the last plants found at high altitude.

    Pūkiawe in Ancient Times

    While the berries of the Pūkiawe plant are not edible, they are used in the making of leis and a dye is also produced from the boiled and mashed berries for coloring tapa cloth. In ancient times the leaves were used for headaches and colds.

    "ūkiawe has many berries

    Close up of leaves and berry

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    All images and content, unless otherwise indicated, are © 2004-2021 InstantHawaii / David Cook
    Nene photo in top graphics by Brenda Zaun