Styphelia tameiameiae – Pukiawe

Styphelia tameiameiae - Pukiawe (red berries)

Styphelia tameiameiae - Pukiawe (white berries)

Styphelia tameiameiae - Pukiawe (pink berries)

Styphelia tameiameiae - Pukiawe (pink and white berries)

Styphelia tameiameiae - Pukiawe (flowers)

Styphelia tameiameiae - Pukiawe (alpine shrub)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Styphelia tameiameiae

Synonyms: Cyathodes banksii, C. douglasii, C. imbricata, C. macraeana, C. tameiameiae, Leptecophylla tameiameiae, Styphelia douglasii, S. grayana

Common Name: Pukiawe

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Hawaii Native Status: Native (indigenous)

Flower Color: Inconspicuous (white)

Height: Up to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall, but much less when growing as a shrub

Description: The small, inconspicuous, white flowers are almost hidden beneath the leaves and are bell-shaped with 5 triangular lobes like a 5-pointed star. The flowers are followed by round, up to 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter, red, pink, white, or bicolored berries. Although the berries are colorful and were used in leis, they are not edible. The leaves cover the stems and are small, dark green above, whitish green below, hairless, stiff, leathery, alternate, and linear to narrowly oblong in shape. The young twigs are hairy and pinkish brown, while the bark is gray.

Pukiawe grows as a low, spreading shrub in open areas and as a small tree in the wet forest understory. It grows at low to high elevations and can even be found in alpine areas.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Ericales
Family: Epacridaceae – Epacris family
Genus: Styphelia Sm. – styphelia
Species: Styphelia tameiameiae (Cham. & Schltdl.) F. Muell. – pukiawe

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map