Common Name
Silky Jack Bean

Hawaiian Name
'Äwikiwiki and Puakauhi

Scientific Name
Canavalia sp.




Whole Plant



Location On Campus

 It is located in Kalama Garden.

Natural Habitat

‘Äwikiwiki can be found at elevations of 182 to 792 meters. It is found in the Maui's Native Plant Greenhouse. On O‘ahu, this plant is found in the Waianae mountains.


Cultural Information

‘Äwikiwiki is an endemic plant which means that it is native and can only be found in Hawai‘i. Relatives to this plant are Wiliwili, Mamane and Koa. Hawaiians used this plant for many things such as fish traps, ground cover, leis, and nets. It was also used to alleviate itchiness, asthma, nausea, and halitosis.

Plant Description


  • Vine
  • Herbaceous
  • Densely tawny or twiggy shoots


  • Three oval leaflets
  • Up to 15.24 cm
  • Glossy green ad papery texture
  • New leaves slightly reddish
  • Compound leaves
  • Green in color


  • Resembles garden peas
  • Dark purple with white patches at the throat
  • About 10.16 cm long


  • Dry pod
  • About 10 to 12 cm long
  • Brown in color


  • Flattened seeds inside the pod
  • Reddish brown in color
  • Turns brown when mature


  • Can grow in pots
  • Water regularly
  • Needs sunlight
  • Scarifying seed would make plant grow faster

Interesting Facts:

  • Pest to the plant is the black string bug

Web Site Links

Hawaiian Native Plant Genera

This site shows pictures of the plant's flowers.

Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database

This site contains information on the plant's family, propagation, and pictures of the plant.

Lampides boeticus (Pea Blue)

This site shows pictures of the plant in its natural habitat.


Bornhorst, Heidi Leinuenue. Growing Native Hawaiian Plants. Honolulu, Hawai‘i: The Bess Press, 1996.

 Hawaiian Native Plants. Cathy Pali. Maui Community College. March 20, 1999. <>

Hawaiian Native Plants, UH Botany. Dr. Gerald (Gerry) Carr. May 7, 2002 <>

Krauss, Beatrice. Plants in Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1993.

 Wanger, Warren, Herdest, Perral and Shomer, S.H. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii. Volume 1. Bishop Museum, Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1999.

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