Hawaiian:     ‘Ae‘ae

English:        Water hyssop

Latin:            Bacopa monnieri

FAMILY:      Scrophulariaceae

STATUS:    Indigenous, Easy to propagate.


A crawler forming mats of vegetation around water. Grows from 0-230 meters in elevation. Due to its popularity as a ground cover you see it growing as high as 1,000 meters.

Flowers: Grow on a solitary leaf axil, appears white, lilac to pale blue in color.

Leaves: 5 to 20mm long, 3 to 10mm wide. Very fleshy, ovate green to lime green in color.

Found on all islands except Kaho‘olawe, even found on the most Northern Islands, including Midway atoll.

There is another variety of ‘Ae‘ae, although it differs from this plant; the latin name is Lycium sandwicense.  It is also indigenous to Hawai‘i and sometimes called haole ‘Ae‘ae.


This plant likes to grow on or in marshy water areas also on mud flats, rocks, sand dunes.  It is very popular as a ground cover.

Historically, in rocky beach areas, mothers would gather ‘Ae‘ae in small flats to allow a soft area for a baby to sit or lay on.