2570 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815


#PlantStories by our very own Lindsey Wong

Plant Stories-Pa‘ū-o-Hi‘iaka


Plant Stories-Pa‘ū-o-Hi‘iaka

One day, as Pele [1] returned from a long morning's holoholo [2], she finds her baby sister Hi‘iaka [3] lying on the beach where Pele had left her. She was wrapped in a morning glory vine. The vine sheltered the baby from the fiery sun that morning, and that’s how this vine got the name, pā‘ū-o-hi‘iaka [4]
(skirt of Hi‘iaka).

Pā‘ū-o-Hi‘iaka is morning glory endemic to Hawaii, known mostly to live near the coast, and thrives in dry climates. Next time you holoholo down Kalākaua Avenue, look down and notice Hawai‘iʻs beloved vegetation with stories to remind us of those who paved the way.

] Pele, the goddess of the volcano. A passionate yet jealous lover, she holds the ability to crack the earth and manipulate lava. Pele creates land while destroying everything in her path.
2] Holoholo (vi): To go for a walk, ride, or sail; to go out for pleasure, stroll, promenade.
3] Hi‘iaka-i-ka-poli-o-pele. The youngest of 12 younger sisters to Pele, all names beginning with Hi‘iaka. She is also the goddess of the Lehua forest. Pele looked after Hi‘iaka. They went through great tribulations together in the epic Hi‘iakaokapoliopele.
4] Pa‘ū-o-Hi‘iaka (n): A native beach vine (Jacquemontia sandwicensis), in the morning-glory family, with pale blue or white flowers and small rounded leaves. Lit., sarong of Hiʻiaka

Information from this piece came from:
Elbert, Samuel H., and Pukui Mary Kawena. Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English ; English-Hawaiian. Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1999.
“Jacquemontia Sandwicensis .” Native Plants Hawaii - Viewing Plant : Cordia Subcordata, University of Hawaii, 2009, nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Jacquemontia_sandwicensis.