Artemisia australis

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hinahina
  • Hinahina kuahiwi
  • ʻĀhinahina

Hawaiian Names

  • Ahinahina
  • Hinahina
  • Hinahina kuahiwi

Common Names

  • Oʻahu wormwood


  • Artemisia eschscholtziana
  • Artemisia hillebrandii
  • Artemisia microcephala

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Clumping
  • Sprawling Shrub

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Small, 2 to 6
  • Shrub, Medium, 6 to 10

Mature Size, Width

4 to 5 feet width.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Hedges
  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

There are distinct forms based on different leaf shapes. This species can hybridize with A. mauiensis.

For native Hawaiian gardens, use hinahina in place of Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria).

Source of Fragrance

  • Leaves

Additional Fragrance Information

Faintly to strongly aromatic with a sage-type or anise fragrance. Another description of the leaf fragrance is lychee. Leaves have an especially strong fragrance when rubbed or crushed.

It has also been described as having a faint to strongly aromatic of sage or anise fragrance. But upon sampling the raw leaves of this plant you will likely spit it out straight away! How apropos the name "worm" or "bitter" wood [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Brownish
  • Yellow

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

Leaves range between 1 and 3 inches and are finely divided foliage but not quite feathery. Grown for interesting silvery foliage.

Leaf Colors

  • Gray / Silverish
  • Light Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaf bottom is more silvery than top of leaf.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Spittle bugs.

leaf Growth Requirements

Pruning Information

Can be kept shorter with regular pruning, but not smaller than 2 feet at maturity. Responds favorably to shaping.

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

Overwatering will decrease silvery color. Watering is only necessary during prolonged drought. Allow to dry out between watering.

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Grow in full sun to bring out the desirable silver foliage.


  • Drought
  • Wind
  • Salt Spray
  • Heat


  • Sand
  • Cinder

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Niʻihau
  • Kauaʻi
  • Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Maui
  • Kahoʻolawe
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 2000 to 2999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 3000 to 3999, 0 to 50 (Dry)

Additional Habitat Information

Of the three native Hawaiian Artemisia species, this one A. australis is the most widespread being found on all of the main islands. Mostly seen growing on windward sides of exposed cliffs.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Hinahina (Artemisia spp.) belong the Aster or Sunflower family (Asteraceae). There are three native species of Artemisia endemic to the Hawaiian Islands: A. australis is found on the all the main islands; A. kauaiensis on Kauaʻi; and A. mauiensis on Haleakalā, Maui.

The genus Artemisia includes notables such as Absinth wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) used to infuse vermouth and absinthe; tarragon (A. dracunculus) used in cuisine; and several species of the ubiquitous sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) of the picturesque American west. [1] In Korean cooking, the common mugwort (A. vulgaris) is used to flavor sook-dok (rice cakes), soups and other dishes. [2]


The genus name Artemisia is derived from Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt, wife of King Mausolus.

The Latin specific epithet australis, southern, is in reference to the southern island continent originally known as Terra Australis, and now Australia.

Hawaiian Names:

The Hawaiian name hinahina means gray or grayish; ʻāhinahina, from ʻāhina, is gray, gray- or white-haired in reference to the plant color. The added kuahiwi means mountain, referring to it's mountain habitat.

Background Information


Early Hawaiian Use

Clothing (Royalty):

Early Hawaiians used hinahina to preserve feather cloaks from insect destruction when stored in calabashes (ʻumeke).


The leaves were pounded for lung problems, asthma and pulmonary consumption without phelgm. Leaves, stalks and roots with other ingredients were pounded and used in a steam bath to treat high fevers. [3]

Modern Use

Potential use for lei or flower arrangements.

Additional References

[1] [accessed 12/1/08]
[2] [accessed 12/1/08]

[3] "Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value" by D.M. Kaaiakamanu & J.K. Akina, page 7.



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