Scaevola taccada (Naupaka)
Goodeniaceae | Native Hawaiian
The most common type of naupaka is Naupaka Kahakai, which means,”Naupaka by the sea,” because its habitat is along the islands’ shorelines. In addition to this variety, there is a mountain dwelling variety. The two plants are seemingly similar apart from their flowers; the Naupaka Kahakai has petals only on the bottom portion of its flower while the mountain Naupaka has petals only on the top portion. A Hawaiian legend symbolizes the two plants as old lovers, separated by the Hawaiian goddess, Pele. Upon their separation, they split their flowers to show their devotion of love.
Many locals use Naupaka to defog their goggles when snorkeling or diving.