Scaevola coriacea

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Naupaka

Common Names

  • Creeping naupaka
  • Dwarf naupaka
  • Naupaka

Names with Unknown Sources

  • Naupaka papa

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

Federally Listed

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Spreading

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Dwarf, Less than 2

Mature Size, Width

Dwarf naupaka has a spread of 4 feet or more.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Ground Cover

Additional Landscape Use Information

Dwarf naupaka is an easy to grow in full sun and xeric conditions. Allow room for this special plant to sprawl. Excellent as a coastal groundcover that is heat, wind, and salt-spray tolerant.

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Cream
  • Green
  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

Dwarf naupaka has yellowish green or whitish flowers which are cream-colored inside. It has the classic half-flowers that naupaka are known for.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

Small oval purple fruits are produced after flowering.

While Dwarf naupaka grows well and flowers almost continually year round, it seems that some plants are reluctant to produce viable fruit. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine

Additional Plant Texture Information

The leaves of dwarf naupaka are about an inch long roundish succulent resembling a jade plant, with a patchy covering of hairs.

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Plants are prone to attacks by slugs, ants, aphids, spittle bugs and spider mites.

leaf Growth Requirements


Apply a balanced slow release fertilize with minor elements every six months. Foliar feed monthly with a kelp or fish emulsion, or a water-soluble fertilizer with a dilution of one-half to one-third of the recommended strength. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Pruning Information

Dwarf naupaka forms a dense covering if pruned regularly, but is known to be slow growing. However, this heat and drought tolerantplant can certainly be grown as a free form groundcover that naturally stays low to the ground.

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

Once dwarf naupaka is well established, water only when the soil is dry.

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun

Additional Lighting Information

Dwarf naupaka does best in full sun for optimal growth and flowering.


  • Drought
  • Wind
  • Salt Spray
  • Heat


  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Cinder
  • Coral

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

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

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Dwarf naupaka formerly grew in coastal sites, primarily on consolidated sand dunes, on all of the main islands and was probably never very common. It has not been recorded as growing naturally on Kahoʻolawe, though there have been outplantings in recent years by restoration groups.

Today, it is only found naturally growing on east Molokaʻi on ʻŌkala, where a new populaion of seven plants were recently discovered, [2] and Makuoʻoniki Islet [1], and on Maui (Waiehu and Kaupō).*


* Until recently, it was Mōkeʻehia Islet. But has not been seen since 2005, possibly due to drought. [1]

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Ten species of naupaka (Scaevola spp.) are native to the Hawaiian Islands in the Goodenia family or Goodeniaceae.

The featured species is one of two native naupakas found along the coastal zones.


The generic name Scaevola is derived from the Greek scaevus, left-handed or awkward, perhaps in reference to the "awkward" appearance of the "half flower."

The specific epithet coriacea is from the Latin coriaceus, tough or leathery.

Early Hawaiian Use

Though this coastal shrub would have certainly been known by the early Hawaiians, any use of it is not known.

Additional References

[1] [accessed 11/7/09]

[2] The Bulletin of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Spring 2010, pages 25-27.

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