Scaevola gaudichaudii

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Naupaka
  • Naupaka kuahiwi

Hawaiian Names

  • Naupaka
  • Naupaka kuahiwi

Common Names

  • Ridgetop naupaka


  • Lobelia gaudichaudii
  • Scaevola menziesiana
  • Scaevola montana
  • Scaevola swezeyana
  • Temminckia gaudichaudii
  • Temminckia menziesiana

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Shrub

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Dwarf, Less than 2
  • Shrub, Small, 2 to 6

Mature Size, Width

This naupaka kuahiwi has about an 8-foot spread.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Ground Cover
  • Hedges
  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

Formerly scarce, and still not very common, Scaevola gaudichaudii is one of the easiest, hardiest and most rewarding of our native naupakas to grow and maintain in the landscape.

This naupaka does best in full sun conditions. It is well suited for harsh, dry, and windy locations.

People often plant coastal naupaka kahakai on the makai side of the house and naupaka kuahiwi on the mauka side. [Rick Barboza, Hui Kū Maoli Ola]

Source of Fragrance

  • Flowers

Additional Fragrance Information

Flowers can be weak to mildly fragrant.

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Brownish
  • Pink
  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

This naupaka kuahiwiʻs floral features are distinctive, with dark yellow, brownish-yellow or, more rare, pinkish flowers and have the classic half-flowers that naupaka are known for.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

Cultivated naupaka kuahiwi appear to be constantly blooming and producing an abundance of small purple drupes.

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine
  • Medium

Additional Plant Texture Information

Leaves are between 1 to 2 inches long and their margins are slightly toothed.

Leaf Colors

  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Naupaka kuahiwi is relatively resistant to disease and pests, but is sometimes infested with ants. which then attract scale, thrips and other sucking insects.

leaf Growth Requirements


Plants require less fertilizer than the wet forest species. But it does benefit from yearly applications of compost or complete fertilizers. Small applications of a balanced slow release fertilizer with minor elements can be applied every six to twelve months. Foliar feed monthly or every other month 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

Naupaka kuahiwi can tolerate moderate pruning.

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

This naupaka kuahiwi prefer dry conditions but tolerate moist conditions as well.

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun


  • Drought
  • Wind
  • Heat


  • Cinder


This species is somewhat salt tolerant.

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)
  • 2000 to 2999, 0 to 50 (Dry)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Naupaka kuahiwi grows in dry ridges and flats in open shrubland and forests from about 250 to over 2,600 feet.

Endemic to Kauaʻi, Oʻahu (Waiʻanae and Koʻolau mountains), East Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, West and East Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island.

On Oʻahu, S. gaudichaudii has been recorded only from the northwestern end of the Waiʻanae Mountains, and from widely scattered locations in the Koʻolau Mountains. It is still locally common in the Kuaokalā area in the Waiʻanae Mountains, but in the Koʻolau Mountains an occurrence of about 15 plants on Kūlepeamoa Ridge in the southeastern end of the mountain range is all that is known to remain in that mountain range. [Joel Lau, Botanist]

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 genus name comes from the Greek, scaevus, meaning left-handed or awkward, perhaps referring to the signature half-flowers resembling an open fan or hand.


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 gaudichaudii is named after the French botanist Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré (1789-1854) who made several contributions to the knowledge of Hawaiian flora during his voyages to the islands.

Hawaiian Name:

Six upland species of Scaevola share the Hawaiian name naupaka kuahiwi which means "naupaka of the mountains."

Early Hawaiian Use

Early Hawaiians used the fruits of naupaka kuahiwi to produce a purplish black dye. [1]

Additional References

[1] "Plants in Hawaiian Culture" by Beatrice H. Krauss, page 66.

[2] "In Gardens of Hawaii" by Marie C. Neal, pages 819-820.



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