All posts by T. Beth Kinsey

Ipomoea triloba – Littlebell

Ipomoea triloba - Littlebell, Little Bell, Three-lobe Morning-glory, Three-lobed Morning-glory, Aiea Morning-glory (flower and leaf)

Ipomoea triloba - Littlebell, Little Bell, Three-lobe Morning-glory, Three-lobed Morning-glory, Aiea Morning-glory (fruit)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Ipomoea triloba

Synonym: Ipomoea krugii

Common Names: Littlebell, Little Bell, Three-lobe Morning-glory, Three-lobed Morning-glory, Aiea Morning-glory

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual

Growth Habit: Vine, Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized plant is native to the tropical Americas, but it is now found worldwide in the tropics.

Flower Color: Pinkish purple, Pink, White

Height: Up to 10 feet (3 m) long if uncoiled, but the plants are usually less than half this in height.

Description: The small, funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, pentagonal flowers are single or in clusters and have a dark magenta-purple throat and 5 green, hairless to sparsely hairy, narrowly egg-shaped sepals with finely fringed edges. The flowers are followed by rounded, bristle-haired seed capsules with a small, pointed tip. The leaves have a heart-shaped leaf base and are green, hairless or sparsely hairy, alternate, and entire, coarsely toothed, or deeply 3-lobed. The stems are slender, prostrate or twining, hairless or sparsely hairy, and green to brownish in color.

Here in Hawaii, Littlebell is a bit weedy and grows at lower elevations in dry to moderately moist grasslands and disturbed grassy areas like old pastures, fields, and roadsides.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae – Morning-glory family
Genus: Ipomoea L. – morning-glory
Species: Ipomoea triloba L. – littlebell

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map

Anemone hupehensis – Japanese Thimbleweed

Anemone hupehensis - Japanese Thimbleweed, Japanese Anemone, Hupeh Anemone, Japanese Windflower (flower)

Anemone hupehensis - Japanese Thimbleweed, Japanese Anemone, Hupeh Anemone, Japanese Windflower (green fruit)

Anemone hupehensis - Japanese Thimbleweed, Japanese Anemone, Hupeh Anemone, Japanese Windflower

Anemone hupehensis - Japanese Thimbleweed, Japanese Anemone, Hupeh Anemone, Japanese Windflower

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Anemone hupehensis

Common Names: Japanese Thimbleweed, Japanese Anemone, Hupeh Anemone, Japanese Windflower

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant is native to China and Taiwan, but it is commonly cultivated in Japan and elsewhere. The cultivated varieties tend to be smaller plants and have much showier flowers.

Flower Color: White, Pink

Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall

Description: The flowers are on branched flowering stems and have 0 petals, 5 broad, white or pink, petal-like sepals, and a ring of yellow aging to brown anthers around a green, velvety ball of numerous, tightly packed pistils. The flowers are followed by rounded seed heads. The leaves have a heart-shaped leaf base and are dark green and sparsely hairy above, paler green and hairier below, palmately lobed, and edged with small teeth. The basal leaves are ternately compound with 3 egg-shaped leaflets. The stems are green to brown, erect, branching, and densely hairy.

Here in Hawaii, Japanese Thimbleweed is weedy and can be found growing in disturbed open areas and along roadsides in wet forests at middle elevations in the mountains, such as in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

This is the only Anemone species found in Hawaii.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Ranunculaceae – Buttercup family
Genus: Anemone L. – anemone
Species: Anemone hupehensis (hort. ex Lem.) Lem. ex Boynton – Japanese thimbleweed

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map

Argemone glauca – Pua Kala

Argemone glauca - Pua Kala, Smooth Pricklypoppy, Hawaiian Poppy, Hawaiian Prickly Poppy, Beach Poppy, Puakala, Kala, Naule, Pokalakala (flower)

Argemone glauca - Pua Kala, Smooth Pricklypoppy, Hawaiian Poppy, Hawaiian Prickly Poppy, Beach Poppy, Puakala, Kala, Naule, Pokalakala (leaf)

Argemone glauca - Pua Kala, Smooth Pricklypoppy, Hawaiian Poppy, Hawaiian Prickly Poppy, Beach Poppy, Puakala, Kala, Naule, Pokalakala

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Argemone glauca

Common Names: Pua Kala, Smooth Pricklypoppy, Hawaiian Poppy, Hawaiian Prickly Poppy, Beach Poppy, Puakala, Kala, Naule, Pokalakala

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Native (endemic)

Flower Color: White

Flowering Season: Sporadic

Height: Up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall

Description: The showy flowers are 3 inches (7.6 cm) or more across and have 6 broad, delicate, crinkled, white petals, numerous yellow-orange stamens, and a dark purple, lobed stigma. The flowers last only one day and are followed by erect, oblong, prickly, green drying to dark brown seed pods that split open at the tips to release the seeds. The leaves are glaucous blue-green with whitish veins, alternate, deeply pinnately lobed, covered with small spines, and edged with larger, spiny teeth. The stems are erect, branched, and covered with yellowish spines. The plants will ooze yellow sap if damaged.

Here in Hawaii, Pua Kala grows in dry, sunny, rocky areas from low to moderate elevations on the leeward sides of the islands and in high elevation subalpine areas in the mountains.

The one other Argemone species found here, the non-native Mexican Pricklypoppy (Argemone mexicana) has yellow flowers.

Special Characteristics

Poisonous – The plants are poisonous, but the native Hawaiians did find medicinal uses for them.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Papaverales
Family: Papaveraceae – Poppy family
Genus: Argemone L. – pricklypoppy
Species: Argemone glauca (Nutt. ex Prain) Pope – smooth pricklypoppy

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map

Ipomoea cairica – Mile A Minute Vine

Ipomoea cairica - Mile A Minute Vine, Koali Ai, Koali, Kowali (purple flower)

Ipomoea cairica - Mile A Minute Vine, Koali Ai, Koali, Kowali (purple flowers)

Ipomoea cairica - Mile A Minute Vine, Koali Ai, Koali, Kowali (leaf)

Ipomoea cairica - Mile A Minute Vine, Koali Ai, Koali, Kowali

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Ipomoea cairica

Synonyms: Ipomoea palmata, I. tuberculata Roem. & Schult.

Common Names: Mile A Minute Vine, Koali Ai, Koali, Kowali

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Vine, Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant and Polynesian canoe plant is native to tropical Africa and Asia.

Flower Color: Purple to violet, White

Height: Up to 16 feet (5 m) tall

Description: The flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) in diameter, and purple to white in color with a dark purple center. The flowers are followed by brown, rounded, hairless seed capsules containing hairy, black to tan seeds. The leaves are green, hairless, papery, alternate, and palmately divided into usually 5 or 7 lobes. The stems are slender and twining. The plants are fast growing.

Here in Hawaii, Mile A Minute Vine grows in sunny, open, disturbed, often dry and rocky areas at low elevations.

Special Characteristics

Canoe Plant – The ancient Polynesians brought the seeds to Hawaii in their canoes. They used the stems for cordage and ate the grated, roasted tubers.

Edible – The tubers are reportedly edible if cooked.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae – Morning-glory family
Genus: Ipomoea L. – morning-glory
Species: Ipomoea cairica (L.) Sweet – mile a minute vine

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map

Solenostemon scutellarioides – Coleus

Solenostemon scutellarioides - Coleus, Common Coleus, Painted Nettle

Solenostemon scutellarioides - Coleus, Common Coleus, Painted Nettle

Solenostemon scutellarioides - Coleus, Common Coleus, Painted Nettle

Solenostemon scutellarioides - Coleus, Common Coleus, Painted Nettle (flowers)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Solenostemon scutellarioides

Synonyms: Coleus blumei, C. pumilus, C. scutellarioides, Ocimum scutellarioides, Plectranthus blumei, P. scutellarioides

Common Names: Coleus, Common Coleus, Painted Nettle

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant, tropical foliage plant, and houseplant is native to Southeast Asia and Malesia.

Flower Color: Purple to violet

Height: Up to 3 feet (0.9 m) tall

Description: The flowers are on tall, slender, branched inflorescences at the stem tips. The individual flowers are small, tubular, and 2-lipped with a broad upper lip and a boat-shaped lower lip. The leaves are opposite, toothed or lobed, oblong to egg-shaped, and either solid green or more commonly variegated with red, pink, orange, yellow, lime green, purple, brown, or creamy white. The stems are semi-succulent, upright, branched, and square in cross section.

Here in Hawaii, Coleus is a common garden plant and also grows wild at the partly shady edges of disturbed wet to mesic (moderately wet) forests at low elevations. The plants can spread by seed or stem cuttings.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae – Mint family
Genus: Solenostemon Thonn. – solenostemon
Species: Solenostemon scutellarioides (L.) Codd – common coleus

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map

Verbascum blattaria – Moth Mullein

Verbascum blattaria - Moth Mullein, White Moth Mullein (yellow flowers)

Verbascum blattaria - Moth Mullein, White Moth Mullein

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Verbascum blattaria

Common Names: Moth Mullein, White Moth Mullein

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized weed is native to Europe, northern Africa, and temperate Asia.

Flower Color: Yellow, White

Height: Up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall

Description: The flowers are clustered along tall, slender, erect flower spikes that arise during the second year of growth. The individual flowers have 5 rounded, sometimes purple-tinged, yellow or white lobes, a reddish purple center, and purple-hairy anther filaments. The flowers are followed by rounded, glandular hairy seed capsules. The leaves are green, mostly hairless, toothed, often lobed, sessile, and oblanceolate in shape. The leaves are largest at the base of the plant and decrease greatly in size higher on the stem. The main stem is glabrous below, glandular hairy above, and typically unbranched.

Here in Hawaii, Moth Mullein grows in upland areas and can be found at high elevations.

The similar Wand Mullein (Verbascum virgatum) is covered in stiff hairs, while Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has velvety hairy leaves and does not have flowers with purple-hairy anther filaments.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Verbascum L. – mullein
Species: Verbascum blattaria L. – moth mullein

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map