Hawaiian Name

Common Names
"Cabbage on a stick", 'Olulu, or Hähä

Scientific Name
Brighamia insignis



Whole Plant



Location On Campus

This plant is located at Keawe, in the garden between the Alice Knapp West dorm and the gym.


Natural Habitat

 The natural habitat of the ‘Älula is on the sea cliffs of Moloka‘i, the Nä Pali coast of Kaua‘i, and the dry shrubland and mesic forest of Ni‘ihau.

Cultural Information

The ‘Älula is endemic to the islands of Ni‘ihau and Kaua‘i. It is also an endangered plant of the islands.

Plant Description


  • Doesn't like to be continuously wet
  • Tap root


  • Unbranched
  • 1 to 5 meters tall
  • Tall, stout, and fleshy
  • Larger at the base
  • Woody stem
  • Soft wood
  • Grows straight up from off the ground


  • Fleshy
  • Large and cabbage like
  • Pinnate venation
  • Entire margins
  • Simple type leaf
  • Used to wrap and cook food in the early Hawaiian days


  • Can be 15.24 cm
  • Long and straight


  • Capsule type
  • 2 longitudinal slits on fruit
  • At first fleshy, as it gets older, it dries out
  • The fruits are not edible


  • 1 cm in length
  • About half as wide as tall
  • Mature seeds are cream colored or light yellow


  • Moths, but they now have to be pollinated by botanists because the insects do not visit this plant anymore so botanists must climb up the sea cliffs just to hand pollinate it

Life Cycle/

  • Normally dies after flowering
  • Must trade pollen in order to create a new flower


  • By planting the seeds in dry soil and very little water on the roots
  • Must be planted high up in the ground so that the roots can grow

Interesting or other facts:

  • Must be hand pollinated in nature

Web Site Links

Älula: Brighamia Insignis

This website has three beautiful pictures of the ‘Älula plant, with the flowers and the names of it.


This website has a beautiful picture of the ‘Älula, with some information on the surroundings of it, and how tall it can grow & basic background information on the plant.

 Brighamia Insignis

This website includes scientific information on the ‘Älula.



 Barboza, Rick. "In the Garden" Honolulu Star Bulletin. 30 August 2002.

 Center for Plant Conservation. A. Gray. 11 April 2002. <>

Kimura, Bert and Kenneth Nagata. Hawai'i's Vanishing Flora. Honolulu, Oriental Publishing Company, 1980.

Wagner, Warren, and Derral Herbst and S.H. Sohmer. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i. Honolulu, Bishop Museum, 1990.

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