Bonamia menziesii

leaf Main Plant Information





Common Names

  • Hawaiian bonamia
  • Hawaiʻi lady's nightcap
  • Menzies' nightcap


  • Breweria menziesii
  • Perispermum albiflorum
  • Perispermum menziesii

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

Federally Listed

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Vine/Liana

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Tall, Greater than 10

Mature Size, Width

The lianas (woody vines) grow from 30 to about 50 feet.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Provides Shade
  • Screening
  • Trellis or Fence Climber

Additional Landscape Use Information

This is an excellent vine for chain link fencing or over larger shrubs. The plants will twine around themselves if they do not have something else to.

Source of Fragrance

  • No Fragrance

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • White

Additional Flower Color Information

The small bell-shaped flowers are often obscured by the leaves and sparsely blooming vines are not particularly showy. But when flowering en mass, enhanced by its foliage, bonamia can be quite spectacular!

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

Bonamia can be in near constant flowering and fruiting or will have periodic rest periods.

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

Leathery leaves can be covered in soft yellowish brown fuzz when young becoming glabrous (without hairs) or nearly so when leaves mature. Leaves range between 1 and 3 inches long.

Leaf Colors

  • Gray / Silverish
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Black stink bugs can accumulate on the vines. Waxy scale and black sooty mold.

leaf Growth Requirements


Fertilize every 3 to 6 months with 8-8-8 fertilizer or 13-13-13 slow release with minor elements every six months. Foliar feed monthly with kelp or fish emulsion.

Pruning Information

If vines get out of hand, they can be trimmed back as needed with no ill effects to the overall health of the plant. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

Once established, this xeric plant will require little water except in prolonged dry periods. Too much water, in fact, can invite black sooty mold and sucking insect pests such as waxy scale and mealybugs. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Tolerates some shading, but full sun is optimal.

Spacing Information

This is a densely vining plant with a generous spread of 8 to 10 feet or more per plant. Give bonamia plenty of room to spread out to climb fences, trellises or over large shrubs.


  • Drought
  • Wind
  • Heat


  • Clay
  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi
  • Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Maui
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)

Additional Habitat Information

Apparently now extinct on Molokaʻi. It is found in dry to mesic forests or rarely in wet forests.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Bonamia (Bonamia menziesii) is a member of the Morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), which comprises some 1,650 species throughout the world.

The endangered endemic bonamia is related to some local notable eatables as ʻuala or sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and ung-choi or swamp cabbage (Ipomoea aquatica) in the Morning Glory family (Convulvolaceae).

Native Hawaiian family members include makihi (Cressa truxillensis), koali ʻai (Ipomoea cairica), hunakai (I. imperati), koali ʻawa (I. indica), Hawaiian moon flower (I. tuboides), pōhuehue (I. pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis), kauna ʻoa (Cuscuta sandwichiana), pāʻuohiʻiaka (Jacquemontia ovalifolia subsp. sandwicensis), and possibly the White-flowered beach morning glory (Ipomoea littoralis).


Named for François Bonami (1710-1786), a French physician and botanist.

The species epithet menziesii refers to Archibald Menzies (1754-1842) a Scottish surgeon and naturalist, and the first to taxonomically identify the species. [1]

Early Hawaiian Use

No native Hawaiian name or cultural use has yet been found for this native vine. But it would hardly have gone unnoticed by early Hawaiians.

Additional References

[1] [accessed 11/4/10]



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