Hawaiian:     ‘Ākia, kauhi


Latin:            Wikstroemia uva-ursi

FAMILY:      Thymelaeaceae

STATUS:    Endemic       Medium hard to propagate


Dense sprawling shrub up to 1.5 meters tall. Grows from 3 to 670 meters in elevation.

Flowers: Small yellow flowers becoming small orange seeds.

Leaves: Small pale green, ranging to dark green, ovate up and down axillary of branches.


This plant was used for many things but the most common uses are: lei, decorations, as a fish stupifier (seeds are ground down and placed in panels to stun fish which would float up to the surface).

It was known that Kamehameha I would use ‘Ākia ground up with ‘Awa and meat to give to the sharks so that he might ride them for sport after they were drowsy from the mixture.