Hawaiian:     ‘Ihi


Latin:            Portulaca molokiniensis

FAMILY:      Portulacaceae

STATUS:    Endemic, Rare         Easy to propagate from cuttings


This ground cover grows from 10 to 115 meters in elevation.  As it is grown at the higher elevations, it is recommended to be grown on the leeward side of an island to do well.

Flowers: In clusters of lemon yellow.

Leaves: cluster along the apical portion of the stem, small ovate and dark green.  


This is one of many varieties of native ‘Ihi, grown primarily on Moloka‘i, sometimes seen on Kaho‘olawe.

There is a legend that Lohi‘au, Pele’s lover, was to return to Nānākuli after a spat with Pele. Lohi‘au walked along the shorelines to avoid being seen by Pele.  By the time he finally came to her in Nānākuli he had collected all ‘Ihi flowers along all of the islands and gave them to her.  Pele being a little mad threw the flowers out.  As a result, you see some ‘Ihi on certain islands and other varieties on other islands.  As Pele threw the flowers out the pieces landed on these islands and they began to grow.