Hawaiian Name(s): ‘uki, ‘ahaniu (M. mariscoides)

Scientific Name: Machaerina (2 species)

Vernacular Name: none

Family: Cyperaceae

Status: indigenous

Authority: M. angustifolia (Gaudich.) T.Koyama, M. mariscoides (Gaudich.) J.Kern

Description: Perennials, (30-)-50-130 cm tall.

Habitat Generally occurring in wet forest on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i, Maui, Lāni‘i, and Hawai‘i at wide range of elevations (but not at sea level) (Wagner et al. 1990:1414).


Non Medicinal Uses: Possibly used as the decoration on the top of ipu (gourd, Lagenaria siceraria) headgear of priests (Abbott 1992:116). In the Ethnology Collection at Bishop Museum there are examples of ‘uki cordage.

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 1.1 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy. Species: M. angustifolia.
Click for image