'Ahu'awa is a common marsh plant that thrives in moist soil and interest for outside pond landscapes. It also makes for interesting texture to rock features.
Latin: Mariscus javinicua
In the garden: Ahuawa
Hawaiians use the pounded stems of this plant to strain pulp out of 'awa, a drink made from the pound root of the 'awa plnat Piper methysticum.
Description: This is a plant indigenous to tropical Africa, Asia and Hawaii. Here, it is found on all major islands except Kahoolawe but also found on Midway Atoll.
'Ahu'awa is common in marshes, lo'i (kalo patches), along side streams, ditches, coastal pastures, rocky coastal sites and cliffs.
Care: Thrives in moist soil and full sun.
Landscape uses: It's an excellent plant for an outside pond. The color of the leaves also adds great contrast to accentuate rock features.
Rick Barboza co-owns Hui Ku Maoli Ola, a Native Hawaiian plant nursery, with Matt Schirman. "In the Garden" is a Friday feature about flora, written by field experts.
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