Kokio is a flowering shrub endemic to Hawaii Island.
When in bloom, 100s of red flowers adorn this spectacular plant. Like a twisted hibiscus flower, petals are spirally arranged. Rick Barboza describes the blossom as a ‘Spanish dancer.’ A perfect example of coevolution, beaks of nectar drinking honeycreepers, and this flower are an exact fit! Inside the stunning flower, a huge dollop of sweet nectar awaits the honeycreeper, a reward for pollination. Somewhat like a shallow lobed maple leaf, veins radiate out from a single point at the base of the leaves.
Listed as endangered in the 1980s, only a handful of wild populations exist. Only 5 to 10% of tropical dryland forest exists today. Development, invasive species, and fire are the most significant threats.
It is easy to cultivate. Kokio does best with full sun and good drainage. Germination is by seed or cuttings.
- Container plant
- Cultural significance
- Lei flower
- Privacy / screening
- No dangers