Naupaka Mauka to Makai
In the green-themed spirit of Saint Patrick's Day, we find ourselves reflecting on
our favorite places that are shrouded in beautiful greenery across the island, from the majestic Ko'olau Mountain Range to the verdant Naupaka-lined shores of Kailua and Lanikai Beach.
Naupaka Kahakai, also known as the beach Naupaka, is indigenous to Hawai'i, and Naupaka Kuahiwi, also known as the mountain Naupaka, is endemic to Hawai'i.
Naupaka Kahakai is commonly found along coastal areas, especially on sandy beaches and rocky shores. This variety of Naupaka has elongated, paddle-shaped leaves and produces small, white or light purple flowers that bloom year-round. Naupaka Kahakai is also known for its ability to tolerate salt spray and sandy soil, making it an ideal plant for coastal landscaping and erosion control.
Naupaka Kuahiwi, or mountain Naupaka, is found at higher elevations. This variety has smaller, rounded leaves and produces larger, white flowers with a yellow center.
Naupaka is a beloved and iconic part of Hawaiian flora, from the sandy beaches to the mountainous regions.