Achyranthes splendens var. rotundata
Hawaiian Names with Diacritics
- Chaff flower
- Round Chaff flower
- Round-leaf chaff flower
- Round-leaved chaff flower
- Achyranthes maneleensis
- Achyranthes reflexa
- Achyranthes rotundata
- Achyranthes splendens var. reflexa
Names with Unknown Sources
- Hinahina ʻewa
- ʻEwa hinahina
Endangered Species Status
Plant Form / Growth Habit
Mature Size, Height (in feet)
- Shrub, Small, 2 to 6
- Shrub, Medium, 6 to 10
Mature Size, Width
Minimum height to width ratio 1.5:1
Long lived (Greater than 5 years)
- Specimen Plant
Additional Landscape Use Information
An easy-to-grow landscape plant that quickly reaches the flowering and fruiting stage. Will regenerate from fallen seed.
Source of Fragrance
- No Fragrance
Plant Produces Flowers
Additional Flower Color Information
The tiny greenish flowers are rather insignificant compared with other features of this plant.
- Year Round
Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information
While the tiny flowers themselves are not showy, the seed spikes are one of the characteristic features of this plant.
Additional Plant Texture Information
Silvery dense tomentose (hairs) covering leaves on upper and lower surfaces. Leaves are smaller and rounder than var. splendens.
- Gray / Silverish
- Light Green
Additional Pest & Disease Information
Mealybugs can concentrate around leaf basis and seed spikes sometimes deforming them.
An application of a slow release fertilizer with micro-nutrients (e.g. Nutricote 13-13-13) every six months and a foliar application of a water soluble fertilizer (e.g. Miracle-Gro) or fish or kelp emulsion monthly has proved to be beneficial.
Do not prune too heavily. Light to medium pruning to a desired shape or to remove spent seed stalks to maintain a clean look in the landscape.
Additional Water Information
Benefits from regular deep watering. However, keep on the drier side and water in very dry periods. Too much water can tend to wash out the beautiful silvery foliage to a greener color in some plants.
Soil must be well drained
- Full sun
- Partial sun
Additional Lighting Information
Tolerates some partial shade but performs best under full sun conditions.
Depending on how plants will be used for in the landscaping, for specimen plants, space 4 to 6 feet apart; for a hedge 3 to 4 feet apart.
- Salt Spray
Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)
- Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)
- 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
Additional Habitat Information
On Oʻahu, this endangered plant is found in scattered populations on the ʻEwa Plains and at Kaʻena Point. 
Probably naturally extinct on Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi.
This is an endangered species belonging to the Amaranth family (Amaranthaceae).
Other native Hawaiian family members include two other species in the same genus with one very likely extinct; a rare and little known amaranth (Amaranthus brownii) from Nīhoa (Moku Manu), ʻāweoweo (Chenopodium oahuense), and several species of pāpala (Charpentiera spp.) and kuluʻī (Nototrichium spp.).
The variety differences in Achyranthes splendens is based on flower and leaf variation.
Genus is derived from the Greek achyron, chaff, and anthos, flower, referring to the chaffy parts of the flower.
The Latin ephithet splendens means shining, brilliant, gleaming, referring to the brightness of the leaves.
The varietal name Latin, rotundata, almost round, refers to the rounded shape of the leaves.
Though there appears to be no known authentic Hawaiian name or use for this plant, the following are used today:
ʻAhinahina means silver, gray or gray- or white-haired, referring to the color of the leaves of this plant.
The name ʻEwa hinahina or Hinahina ʻewa has an unknown modern origin.
Early Hawaiian Use
 "Hawaiʻi's Vanishing Flora" by Bert Y. Kimura & Kenneth M. Nagata, page 17.
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