Hawaiian Name(s): ‘uki‘uki, ‘uki

Scientific Name: Dianella sandwicensis

Vernacular Name: none

Family: Liliaceae

Status: indigenous

Authority: Hook. & Arn.

Description: Perennial herbs 0.5-2 m tall, forming clumps of stems. Berries often blue.

Habitat Habitat varies from open to partly shaded areas, mesic forest, dry shrubland and grassland, also on lava and wet forest, 120-2140 m, on most main islands (Wagner et al. 1990:1462).


Non Medicinal Uses: Long, slender leaves were braided to serve as cordage, for example as a lashing material in house construction (Abbott 1992:63; Summers 1990:104–106). Dark blue berries for purple-blue dye (Krauss 1993:67) and for lei (McDonald 1989:67).

Specific gravity of wood: n/a

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts: Purple-blue to true blue with added lime (fruit)

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 1.9 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy.
Click for image