Pa'u 'o Hi'iaka - Hawaiian coastal wildflower

Jacquemontia ovalifolia ssp. sandwicensis

Pa'u 'o Hi'iaka (Jacquemontia ovalifolia ssp. sandwicensis)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

This pretty little wildflower is called Pa'u 'o Hi'iaka, which translates to 'skirt of Hi'iaka.  (In Hawaiian mythology, Hi'iaka was a sister to the volcano goddess, Pele).

Pa'u 'o Hi'iaka is a member of the Morning Glory family.  It is a perennial, and is seen mostly in coastal areas on the leeward sides of the Hawaiian Islands.  It roots in small patches of dirt between rocks and spreads out as a trailing vine.

At one time, this pant was thought to be a Hawaiian endemic, i.e., found only in Hawaii.  Older books and reference materials give the scientific name as Jacquemonita sandwicensis.  More recently it was determined to be a subspecies of Jacquenmontia ovalifolia, which is found in some other tropical areas such as Mexico and the West Indies.  As a result, the status of Pa'u 'o Hi'iaka was changed from 'endemic' to 'indigenous' to Hawaii, and its full scientific name is now Jacquemontia ovalifolia ssp. sandwicensis - quite a mouthful of a name for such a dainty little flower!

3 comments:

kml said...

It looks quite hardy growing along all those rocks.

Becky and Gary said...

I like this little plant and especially the cool leaves.
B.

T and S said...

Hi Bobbie,

This is Thomas from 'Walk the Wilderness", reaching out to request you to give me a submission for the next edition of "I and the Bird" blog carnival, that I m hosting.

The "I and the Bird" blog carnival is about birds. Your submission can be any post on any of your blogs but on the subject of birds. The submission need not be the latest, however it would be nice if its not too old as well.

Pl. send me (suresh_anand@hotmail.com) the link to your submission. Pl. also indicate the city and country where you live in your reply.

Looking forward to your reply.

Have a wonderful weekend...Thomas