Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula

Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula

image of Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula


  • ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula
  • Scientific: Hibiscus kokio subsp. kokio

Conservation Status

  • NatureServe Heritage Rank T1 – Critically Imperiled Subspecies
  • IUCN Red List Ranking – Vulnerable

Species Information

Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula is endemic to Hawai’i and a part of the Malvaceae family. It grows up to 30 ft with an 8 to 12 ft spread. Its narrow-petaled red flowers are constantly in bloom. Early Hawaiians used the flowers for lei and the wood to make a fine charcoal. Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula was also mixed with other plants and consumed for blood purification while the leaves were used as a laxative. 


Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula is found on all the main Hawaiian islands except Kaho’olawe and Ni’ihau. 


Koki‘o ‘ula‘ula grows between 150 to 2000 ft. It grows in moist habitats with full to partial sunlight.


  • Tramplinga and consumption by feral ungulates
  • Seed predation from rodents
  • Competition with alien invasive plants

References & Additional Resources

“Hibiscus Kokio Subsp. Kokio.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1 Jan. 1998, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/34009/9827577.

“Koki’o ‘Ula’ula (Hibiscus Kokio Ssp. Kokio).” Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, https://mnbg.org/hawaiian-native-plant-collection/kokio-ulaula-hibiscus-kokio-ssp-kokio/.