Hawaiian Name

Common Name

Scientific Name
Dianella sandwicensis



Whole Plant




Fruit and Flowers

Location On Campus

The ‘Uki‘uki is found in Kalama garden and is also found at the garden by Keawe gym.

Natural Habitat

The ‘Uki‘uki is found on all the main Hawaiian islands except for Ni‘ihau and Kaho‘olawe. It grows on lava and is also found in wet forest, lightly shaded places, dry shrub land, and at elevations of 30-1950 meters

Cultural Information

The ‘Uki‘uki is indigenous to Hawai‘i. The juice of its berries were used as a dye for kapa cloth. The leaves were used for thatching houses. The leaves and roots were also used for cordage. The berries also made attractive seed leis.

Plant Description


  •  Thick
  • Brittle
  • Brown in color
  • Type of roots unknown


  •  7.5 cm high
  • Brown in color
  • Woody


  •  Long
  • Flexible
  • Green in color
  • Waxy texture
  • Thick
  • Underneath is dull
  • 30-90 cm long
  • 2.5 cm wide
  • Simple leaf


  •  Blue-violet to violet petals
  • Long stamen
  • Petals turned reversed


  •  Blue-violet color
  • 1 cm long
  • 7 mm thick
  • 2-3 cm long
  • Fleshy - pome fruit


  • 2-3 seeds per fruit
  • Shiny
  • Black
  • 3-4 mm long 

Interesting Facts:

  • Average size of plant is 60-120 cm tall
  • Member of the lily family
  • Also native in Marquesses Islands

Web Site Links


This site shows great pictures of the plant. It also talks about leaves (veins, etc.) of the plant and other things that you need to know about this plant. It also tells what uses the plant has for us.

 Maui Community College Native Hawaiian Plants on Campus

This site tells information about the uses of the ‘Uki‘uki. It gives a description of the plant from the roots to the flowers. It also shows some good pictures of the plant.


Abbott, Isabella Aiona. La'au Hawai'i Traditional Uses of Plants. Honolulu: Bishop Museum, 1992.

 Degener, Otto. The New Illustrated Flora of the Hawaiian Islands, Flora Hawaiiensis Books 1-4. Honolulu: Publisher unknown, 1946.

 Hawaiian Native Plants Genera. Carr, Gerald D. May 7, 2002. University of Botany department. 13 March 2003 <>

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

 Merlin, Mark. Hawaiian Forest Plants. Honolulu: Pacific Guide Books, 1995.

Merlin, Mark David. Hawaiian Forest Plants. Honolulu: The Oriental Publishing Company, Copyright date unknown,

Plants of Hawai'i . 13 March 2003 <http;//>

Return to Top

Web page created by Kamehameha Middle School Koa Team Students: Robin and Tawnee

© Kamehameha Schools. All rights reserved. Statements of Privacy, Copyright, and Disclaimer.