Euphorbia celastroides

Euphorbia celastroides (ʻAkoko)

Euphorbiaceae | Cactus

Native To:

Hawaii, Endemic

Plant Status:

Endangered/secure

Plant Habit:

Shrub-like, 2-6 ft tall

Plant Habitat:

Dry areas, with partial/full
sun and drained soil

Cultural Uses

The name ʻAkoko comes from the Hawaiian word “koko,” meaning blood, since the leaves turn red before they fall off. Also, the plant “bleeds” a milky sap when cut. Native Hawaiians used the red leaves to make a tea for women after menstruation or childbirth to help them recover. It has been confirmed the red leaves have a higher concentration of iron than other
leaves.

Interesting Fact

When the leaves are about to fall off they turn yellow, and then red.

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