Mānoa Heritage Center



Kokiʻo keʻokeʻo

Hibiscus arnottianus

Native Endemic

Two Koki‘o keʻokeʻo species live on-site, Hibiscus arnottianus and Hibiscus arnottianus subsp. immaculatus. Both have large white and subtle fragrant blossoms; it grows in mesic forests at low elevations (below 3,000 feet elevation). These species grow only on the islands of Oʻahu and Molokaʻi. The kokiʻo keʻokeʻo is a shrub or a small tree, depending on its natural growth habit and how it is trained. With age, a plant can get to be nearly 30 feet tall. The large white flowers have evolved to make a mild fragrance in order to attract a local pollinator, the moth, as hummingbirds are not present on the islands. They are best sniffed when the wind is calm.