Scientific Name: Ipomea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis
Also Known As: Beach Morning Glory
Indigenous: All HI including most of the Northwestern Hawaiian islands
Description: A prostrate vine, up to 30 ft. long, with thick glabrous leaves and large purple/pink flowers with dark purple centers, in rare circumstances, flower petals may be white with purple centers.
Distribution: This indigenous plant is found throughout the tropics, here it is naturally found on sandy beaches of all the main islands and a majority of the northwestern Hawaiian islands.
Cultural Uses: Roots and leaves were pounded into a poultice for wounds,sores, and broken bones. Small amounts of roots and leaves were used for medicine and famine food, too much though, can be dangerous.
Landscape Uses and Care: Pohuehue is an excellent ground cover for dry, sunny areas and requires little watering once established. Its large purple flowers add great color to any garden. This plant is a very quick grower given daily watering but will fill in thicker with less watering and full sun. Because it is so attractive and easy to maintain, it’s a wonder why these plants aren’t seen in more landscapes.
Additional Info: Pohuehue was also slapped on the surface of the ocean to encourage large surf when the waves were small.Pohuehue