Hawaiian Names with Diacritics
- Koolau Range beggarticks
- Koolau kookoolau
- Bidens gracilis
- Bidens halawana
- Campylotheca gracilis
- Lipochaeta asymetrica
Endangered Species Status
Plant Form / Growth Habit
- Partially Woody / Shrub-like
Mature Size, Height (in feet)
- Herbaceous, Medium, 1-3
- Herbaceous, Tall, Greater than 3
Mature Size, Width
About 2 to 3 feet.
Long lived (Greater than 5 years)
Additional Landscape Use Information
Though not much is known about this koʻokoʻolau and few specimens are seen in cultivation at this time, this species is easy to grow, being a bit slower than some other species. They seem to do well in containers. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]
Plant Produces Flowers
Additional Flower Color Information
The small flowers of this koʻokoʻolau are charming up close but not as showy as some other species.
Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information
Flowers have been observed in the spring and summer months in its natural habitat. Fruiting immdiately follows. The brownish-black achenes (seeds) are long, slightly curved or twisted with two short "prongs" on either side at the tip.
In cultivation, they bloom in summer to fall months. However, these plants may prove to be sporadic or even year round bloomers since there are substantiated photos of this species blooming in February. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]
- Medium Green
Additional Pest & Disease Information
Under cultivation, spider mites have been observed. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]
Monthly folar feedings kelp or fish emulsion have quite beneficial for this plant. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]
Soil must be well drained
- Full sun
- Partial sun
Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)
- 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
- 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
Additional Habitat Information
This koʻokoʻolau is found from 985 to about 1970 feet scattered in mesic forest, often on slopes or ridges, leeward side of the southeastern Koʻolau Mountains, Oʻahu.
Koʻokoʻolau (Bidens spp.) are members of the Aster or Sunflower family (Asteraceae). There are nineteen endemic species of Bidens.
The natives are not invasive as are some of the alien species such as kī (Bidens pilosa) with its harpoon-like seeds (kukū) that seem attracted to long pants, socks and shoe laces or the White beggarticks (Bidens alba) that blanket huge areas with "cute-but-don't-grow-them-anyway" white and yellow flowers.
The name Bidens is derived from the Latin bi, two, and dens, teeth in reference to the pappus awns or collective bristles on the achenes (fruit, seeds).
The specific epithet asymmetrica is from the Greek asymmetricus, irregular or lacking symmetry.
Despite its apparent narrow range, this species does not appear to be rare. Some populations showing intergradations between B. asymmetrica and B. sandvicensis subsp. sandvicensis occur from Nuʻuanu Pali to Tantalus.
All Bidens species can hybridize, which should be avoided. Individual species are often restricted to one habitat.
Early Hawaiian Use
Leaves of all species of native koʻokoʻolau were used medicinally and for a tea tonic.
All species of koʻokoʻolau can be brewed as a tonic and each are said to have distinct flavors. Regarding Bidens spp., Isabella Abbott comments that "I find that the roughly half a dozen species common in Hawaiʻi offer two or three slightly different flavors, each a bit more subtle than commercial black tea." 
 "Lāʻau Hawaiʻi: Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants" by Isabella Aiona Abbott, page 102.
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