Common Name
Clay's Hibiscus

Hawaiian Name
Koki'o 'ula

Scientific Name
Hibiscus clayi




Whole Plant





Location On Campus

Hibiscus clayi is found by Keawe in the Hawaiian garden.

Natural Habitat

 Its natural habitat is in Kaua‘i, Nounou Mountains, Hali‘i Valley, Anahola Mountains and Eastern Hawai‘i. The hibiscus is usually found in dry or wet areas on mountains.

Cultural Information

The plant came to Hawai‘i on its own with the help of the three W's (wind, wing, and water). This native hibiscus is endemic to Hawai‘i. This shrub is used as decoration.

Plant Description


  • Grows straight up
  • Rough texture
  • About 2.5 cm thick and vary with height
  • Average height is 120 cm


  • Simple leaves
  • Pinnate venation
  • Serrate margin
  • Smooth texture
  • Shape and size vary with age
  • Dark green and in a tear drop shape


  • 4 to 5 petals surround the female and male parts of the flower
  • Red flaring petals vary in shape and size


  • Grown fruits are pale brown capsules
  • Capsules can contain over 12 seeds


  • 4 to 5 mm
  • Never seen in the wild
  • Small and smooth
  • Not edible


  • Might not be able to self fertilize
  • Attracts bees and birds with its vibrant color from the flowers


  • By cuttings

Interesting Facts:

  • Endangered and endemic
  • Hibiscus mean "mallow like plant"
  • Part of the Malvacea family

Web Site Links

Hawaiian Native Plant Genera

This site shows more pictures of the native hibiscus and other native plants can be found here.


Kepler, Angela K. Hawaiian Heritage Plants. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998

 McKenney, Michael P., et al. Index to the Slide Bank of Hawai‘i's Native Biota. Hawaii: Moanalua Gardens Foundations, 1990.

  Wagner, Warren L., Herbst, Derral R. Sohmer, S.H. Manual of Flowering Plants of Hawaii. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1990.

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