Aweoweao is a hardy shrub endemic to all the main Hawaii Islands, except possibly Kahoolawe. It grows in various climates, from the ocean to high elevations, especially on Mauna Kea. However, these elevations are usually on the leeward sides. The height varies as well, ranging from 3 feet to over 10 feet!
A ‘goosefoot family member,’ the leaves are three-lobed, like a goosefoot. Velvety hair gives them a silvery appearance, blue/green in color. The fleshy leaves range in size depending on water. Dries areas will have smaller leaves, and wetter areas will have larger leaves. They are weakly scented when crushed. However, the plant won’t emit a fish odor unless deliberately bruised. Brushing up against the plant isn’t enough to produce a smell. (Cultivating this plant won’t stink up the garden).
Aweoweao produces seeds and flowers most of the year. While the flowers are small and insignificant, the ever-present seeds add an interesting texture to the landscape. Like the Aweoweao fish, the red-streaked stems add a subtle flash of color.
Water until established. After that, Aweoweao is maintenance-free! Pests should not be an issue. Irrigation is unnecessary. While it produces seeds yearlong, many of them are infertile. Sow many if propagating by seed. Vegetative cuttings are perhaps an easier way to reproduce.
- Container plant
- Cultural significance
- Erosion control
- No dangers