Jacquemontia sandwicensis

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Kaupoʻo
  • Kākuaohiʻiaka
  • Pāʻū o Hiʻiaka
  • Pāʻūohiʻiaka

Hawaiian Names

  • Kakuaohiiaka
  • Kaupoo
  • Pau o Hiiaka
  • Pauohiiaka

Common Names

  • Oval-leaf clustervine


  • Convolvulus sandwicensis
  • Ipomoea ovalifolia var. pubescens
  • Ipomoea ovalifolia var. tomentosa
  • Jacquemontia ovalifolia subsp. sandwicensis

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Spreading

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Herbaceous, Short, Less than 1

Mature Size, Width

Pāʻūohiʻiaka has a 3- to 10-foot spread. [6]

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Erosion Control
  • Ground Cover

Additional Landscape Use Information

This is an excellent vining groundcover and can be planted in sandy or salty soil or locations prone to salt spray where other plants would perish.

Although best adapted to sandy or gravelly substrates, it will also grow reasonably well in heavier soils, including clays. [6]

Companion Plants:

For a native garden in hot, sunny and/or windy areas use pāʻūohiʻiaka along with ʻilima papa (Sida fallax) in a bed of sandy soil or black cinder.

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type


Flower Colors

  • Light Blue
  • White

Additional Flower Color Information

This vine has small white or pale blue flowers.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • December

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

Pāʻūohiʻiaka flowers throughout the year, but primarily from December to July.

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine
  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

Leaves are about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long.

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaves can range from light green to silverish in color, with or without fuzzy hairs.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Plants are prone to ants and mealy bugs. Slugs can at times be problematic for this vine.

leaf Growth Requirements


Fertilize with 8-8-8 if the plants are growing slow or need a boost.

Pruning Information

Trim growing points to encourage branching and keep plants confined to a growing area.

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

Pāʻūohiʻiaka thrives in dry environments, requiring less water than many other species. Too much water, in fact, produces abundant foliage but can lessen flower production.

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Best grown in full sun for highest flower production.

Spacing Information

Allow space for pāʻūohiʻiaka to spread. Plant at 12 to 18 inches apart. Vines will grow together forming a dense groundcover.


  • Drought
  • Brackish Water
  • Wind
  • Salt Spray
  • Heat


  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Cinder
  • Coral

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)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

These vines occur in coastal habitats on a variety of substrates, particularly on the leeward sides of islands.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Pāʻuohiʻiaka is a member of the Morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), which comprises some 1,650 species throughout the world. Recently, this native plant has been raised to a specific level as Jacquemontia sandwicensis, where formely it was considered as an endemic subspecies.

One non-native relative, the Skyblue clustervine (Jacquemontia pentantha), is naturalized Oʻahu.

Pāʻuohiʻiaka is related to some local notable eatables as ʻuala or sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and ung-choi or swamp cabbage (Ipomoea aquatica).

Native Hawaiian family members include a bonamia (Bonamia menziesii), 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), and possibly the White-flowered beach morning glory (Ipomoea littoralis).


The generic name Jacquemontia is named in behalf of Victor Jacquemont (1801-1832), a French geologist and botanical explorer.

The specific epithet sandwicensis refers to the "Sandwich Islands," as the Hawaiian Islands were once called, and named by James Cook on one of his voyages in the 1770s. James Cook named the islands after John Montagu (The fourth Earl of Sandwich) for supporting Cook's voyages.

Hawaiian Names:

Kākuaohiʻiaka. The word kākua means "to bind or fasten on, as a sarong or belt." [5]

Pāʻuohiʻiaka or Pāʻū o Hiʻiaka is translated to mean "Hiʻiaka's skirt," the goddess sister of Pele.

Background Information

Pāʻūohiʻiaka has been viewed by some as a "weed." [2]

Early Hawaiian Use

Dried leaves and stems were made into a tea or mixed with niu (coconut) and eaten. [3]

Used by ancient Hawaiians to treat babies with thrush (ʻea) [1,4], as a laxative for lepo paʻa (constipation), and for babies with general weakness (pāʻaoʻao). [4] It also was used to help babies and adults with ʻeha makaʻu (frightening pains or aches). [4] The plant was mixed with kalo (taro) leaves and salt for cuts. [3]

Additional References

[1] "Native Planters in Old Hawaii--Their Life, Lore, & Environment" by E. S. Handy and Elizabeth Green Handy, page 238.

[2] "Handbook of Hawaiian Weeds" by E. L. Haselwood, page 322.

[3] "Hawaiian Herbs of Medicinal Value," by D.M. Kaʻaiakamanu & J.K. Akina, page 73.

[4] Native Hawaiian Medicine--Volume III" by The Rev. Kaluna M. Kaʻaiakamanu, page 85.

[5] Hawaiian Dictionaries online [Accessed 10/10/09]

[6] "How to Plant a Native Hawaiian Garden" by Kenneth M. Nagata, page "Pāʻū o Hiʻiaka."



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