Hawaiian Name(s): ‘akoko, koko, ekoko, kōkōmālei, ‘akokoko

Scientific Name: Chamaesyce (16 species)

Vernacular Name: spurge

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Status: endemic

Authority: C. arnottiana (Endl.) O.Deg. & I.Deg., C. atrococca (A.Heller) Croizat & O.Deg., C. celastroides (Boiss.) Croizat & O.Deg., C. clusiifolia (Hook. & Arn.) Arth., C. degeneri (Sherff) Croizat & O.Deg., C. deppeana (Boiss.) Millsp., C. elanoriae Lorence & W.L.Wagner, C. halemanui (Sherff) Croizat & O.Deg., C. herbstii W.L.Wagner, C. kuwaleana (O.Deg. & Sherff) O.Deg. & I.Deg., C. multiformis (Hook. & Arn.), C. olowaluana (Sherff) Croizat & O.Deg., C. remyi (A.Gray ex Boiss.) Croizat & O.Deg., C. rockii (C. Forbes) Croizat & O.Deg., C. skottsbergii (Sherff) Croizat & O.Deg., C. sparsiflora (A. Heller) Koutnik

Description: Shrubs and annual herbs.

Habitat Habitats vary, but most are found in dry to mesic vegetation (Wagner et al. 1990:604–617).

Medicines: Leaf buds fed to children or to lactating mothers to treat ‘ea and pa‘ao‘ao. To insure or augment mothers‘ milk ‘akoko sap with kalo leaves (taro, Colocasia esculenta), ingested in poi. For the ailment ‘ala‘ala hamani, sap is mixed with powdered ‘ahu‘awa stem as an ointment. Treatment for kohepopo and wai‘opua hinanawe (womens' weakness, debilitation) combines ‘akoko leaf buds, ‘ohi‘a ‘ai bark, mature noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia), kō kea (white sugarcane, Saccharum officinarum), ‘ala‘ala wainui pehu (Peperomia spp.), and pia (Tacca leontopetaloides) (Chun 1994:25–27).

Non Medicinal Uses: C. celastroides (as C. lorifolia) noted as "much used as firewood" by Hillebrand 1888:396; sap used in paint (Krauss 1993:50); leaves and sap medicinal (Chun 1994:25–6).

Specific gravity of wood: n/a

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Intermediate. Seeds sprout in 1-2 weeks, when 5 cm tall transplant into individual pots; stem tip cuttings of 10 cm from active growing tips w/ mostly green wood, rooting varies from 1 week-3 months, transfer to standard potting mix when new stem growth is obvious (Culliney and Koebele 1999:46–48).
Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 1.9 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy. Species: C. celastroides.
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