Hawaiian Name(s): moa, moa nahele, pipi, ‘o‘ō moa

Scientific Name: Psilotum nudum

Vernacular Name: upright whisk fern

Family: Psilotaceae

Status: indigenous

Authority: (L.) P.Beauv.

Description: Slender shrubby or tufted perennial, 1-2 ft tall, two-forked branched, minute spores.

Habitat Found in moist to dry localities, on soil, among rocks, and on trees (Neal 1965:1; Valier 1995:21).


Non Medicinal Uses: Branched stem used in children's game called 'moa nahele' (cock fighting), winner would announce victory by crowing like a rooster (Krauss 1993:88). Spores used like talcum powder (Valier 1995:4)

Specific gravity of wood: n/a

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Grows well under medium to high light in moist-dry soils, as well as well-drained, uncut moss (Hoshizaki & Moran 2002:470).