Hawaiian Name(s): makaloa, makoloa, ehu‘awa

Scientific Name: Cyperus laevigatus

Vernacular Name: umbrella sedge

Family: Cyperaceae

Status: indigenous

Authority: L.

Description: Perennials, 10-45 cm.

Habitat Occurring on mud flats, sandy coastal sites, and around/in fresh, brackish and saltwater ponds, 0-10 m on most main islands and Laysan (Wagner et al. 1990:1398)

Medicines: To treat mimi pa‘a and mimi li‘ili‘i, makaloa and ‘awa hiwa, awa mo‘i (both Piper methysticum), kī leaves (ti, Cordyline fruticosa), ‘ōolena root (Cucurma longa), and ‘alaea and palolo clays are mixed into a mash. Then niu water (coconut, Cocos nucifera) is added. The mixture is strained through ‘ahu‘awa (Cyperus javanicus), the liquid is heated and drunk while warm twice a day (Chun 1994:213-214).

Non Medicinal Uses: The leaves are used to weave very fine mats and hats, flexible bed or floor coverings, malo and pa‘u skirts (Kamehameha Schools 1994:25).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 1.7 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy.
Click for image